It's a sad day for fans of the small-but-mighty restaurant chain, Cheeseburger in Paradise. According to NJ.com, the brand's very last remaining location, situated in Secaucus, New Jersey, has closed its doors for good.
Cheeseburger in Paradise was the brainchild of musician Jimmy Buffet and OSI Restaurant Partners LLC (now known as Bloomin' Onion Brands Inc.), who launched the kitschy, island-inspired burger spot in 2002, reports Nation's Restaurant News. Naturally, the name was bestowed to the restaurant thanks to Buffet's popular song of the same title. (The lyrics include, "Cheeseburger in paradise, heaven on Earth with an onion slice, not too particular, not too precise, I'm just a cheeseburger in paradise…" You can watch a live performance of the song below).
By 2006, Cheeseburger in Paradise was at its most successful, serving up burgers with a tropical flair in 38 locations across 17 states, including Florida, Indiana, Maryland, Nebraska, New Jersey, South Carolina and Virginia. In 2012, the restaurant chain had been reduced to 23 locations and was purchased by Luby's Inc., the parent company of Fuddruckers and Luby's Cafeteria.
As Eat This, Not That! has previously reported, Luby's Inc. has suffered some major financial setbacks before and during the COVID-19 pandemic that have forced the company to go out of business. As part of this process, Luby's Inc. has been selling off its assets—including closing all of its restaurant locations and retiring the Fuddruckers and Luby's Cafeteria brands. Unfortunately, Cheeseburger in Paradise is also a victim of this liquidation process. (Related: These 5 Classic American Restaurant Chains are Close to Disappearing.)
It's not clear when the last standing Secaucus location of the burger chain shut its doors, but now all that's left of the brand is a message to its loyal customers on its website that reads: "Thank you for supporting Cheeseburger in Paradise. All of our restaurant locations are now permanently closed."
However, there's also an asterisk that offers a potential glimmer of hope. It clarifies: "This statement does not apply to the Cheeseburger in Paradise restaurant in Hawaii, which is a separately owned location."
So, if you're pining for one more "heaven on Earth with an onion slice," perhaps your only shot at getting it may be planning a trip to Hawaii one day soon.
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