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Pittsburgh’s Kings chain reportedly sold to private-equity firm

Since Hartley King bought his first restaurant in North Versailles in 1966, his Kings Restaurant chain has become a family fixture in this area.

“It’s a homey feeling, which you don’t get at a lot of chains,” said Pat Pittore of Carnegie as she exited the restaurant.

But now sources tell KDKA money editor Jon Delano that King has sold his 30 restaurants to Kelly Capital, a private equity firm in San Diego, Calif.

“They don’t seem to be the ones that are completely closing places very quickly. It seems like they are really focusing on changing the operations,” observed Point Park University business professor Dr. Elaine Luther.

Luther says Kelly Capital has had a portfolio of real estate, restaurants, and other companies, some of which they turn around and sell and others that they continue to operate.

The early word is that the Pittsburgh area restaurants will undergo a makeover with upgrades.

Sources tell KDKA the new California owner will keep the Kings Restaurant name.

While the 2,000 Kings employees have been asked to reapply for work, most will keep their jobs.

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