The franchisee who operated Hwy55 Burgers, Shakes & Fries in Elizabeth City suddenly closed the location on Monday, while the parent company says they plan to reopen the restaurant soon.
One of the Mount Olive-based burger chains’ first standalone stores, the current location of Hwy 55 opened along Halstead Boulevard Extended in the summer of 2021 after moving from its Tanglewood Shoppes space.
The chain founded in Goldsboro in 1991 as Andy’s, Hwy 55 serves hamburgers, cheesesteaks, sandwiches, salads, hand-dipped ice cream and milkshakes.
Orginialy known for its vintage 50’s décor and music, they rebranded a few years ago to Hwy 55 and shifted their focus to include the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s in the ambiance in order to provide a nostalgic All-American experience to its guests.
Signs were posted on the doors of the Elizabeth City location on Monday initially saying they were closed for renovations, while comments on social media said managers and employees had not been informed.
A post circulated on Facebook on Tuesday that Hwy 55’s corporate office was trying to contact the local staff, and the restaurant was not being closed permanently.
“We had a franchisee that took it on himself to close,” Chester Wiggins, a member of Hwy 55’s upper management, said in an email Wednesday morning. “He is no longer a franchisee and as soon as we get the staff back, we will be reopening that location very soon.”
Pasquotank County tax records show 7530 Roswell Road, LLC of Encino, California, owns the property, but other information about the franchisee was not immediately available.
Two other Greater Outer Banks locations of Hwy 55, in Columbia and Ahoskie, remain open.