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9 Local Pizza Huts Rescued From Closure

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Pizza Hut

A patron enters a cigarette-smoke-free Pizza Hut restaurant August 15, 2005 in Niles. (Credit: Tim Boyle/Getty Images)

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CHICAGO (CBS) — Employees celebrated at a South Side Pizza Hut Tuesday, after it was announced that a number of restaurants in danger of closing will remain open after all.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser reports, a Pizza Hut at 47th Street and Damen Avenue in the Back of the Yards neighborhood is one of nine that was slated to close, but will now stay open.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser reports

The Rev. Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow/PUSH Coalition helped broker the deal that will keep the Pizza Huts open. The restaurants employ 250 people.

“They are to serve pizzas first and eat pizzas second,” Jackson said as the celebration began.

Under the deal, the firm JDJ Management will operate the restaurants. Jackson and Rainbow/PUSH brought JDJ together with Fifth Third Bank to rescue the restaurants.

“The banking situation is so screwed up right now, we were very happy that it came to pass,” said Lewis James of JDJ Management. “They’re great jobs, because everyone has to have a job. Everybody can’t have a Ph.D. it’s a stepping stone.”

James said the nine restaurants had all been owned by Pizza Hut, and as the company was trying to make a decision what to do, “we became their solution.”

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