Don't look for the big downtown Krystal sign to disappear anytime soon, at least not if Krystal has anything to say about it.
The feisty southern burger chain wasn't happy on Thursday when executives found out that UBS, a financial services company that plans to add 1,000 jobs in Tennessee, intended to replace the Krystal sign with one of its own this weekend. Krystal has already vacated the building, moving its employees to an Atlanta suburb earlier this year.
Krystal invoked a section in its contract with Luken Holdings, the building's owner, that allows its red trademark to stay up as long as its lease is active. That could be as late as December. So despite what officials are now calling a "misunderstanding," the sign will stay right where it is for the foreseeable future.
"Krystal has a lease with Luken Holdings until the latter part of the year," said Robin Derryberry, a spokesperson for the burger chain. "At some point, that sign will come down. However, that date has not yet been set."
When the Krystal sign finally comes down from the 10-story building at the corner of M.L. King Boulevard and Broad Street, it will mark the end of Krystal's 81 years of being headquartered in Chattanooga. The company may retain a presence in the Scenic City if it follows through on its promise to open a museum downtown.
Ellis Smith joined the Chattanooga Times Free Press in January 2010 as a business reporter. His beat includes the flooring industry, Chattem, Unum, Krystal, the automobile market, real estate and technology. Ellis is from Marietta, Ga., and has a bachelor’s degree in mass communication at the University of West Georgia. He previously worked at UTV-13 News, Carrollton, Ga., as a producer; at the The West Georgian, Carrollton, Ga., as editor; and at the Times-Georgian, Carrollton, ...