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The Perkins restaurant on University Avenue closed Sunday.

The Perkins Restaurant & Bakery on Madison's West Side closed Sunday after 40 years. Its lease expired Wednesday and the property is being redeveloped, a company spokeswoman said.

Employees at the restaurant, 5237 University Ave., were offered positions at the other two local Perkins restaurants, and the majority of them accepted the offers, said Vivian Brooks, a Perkins representative.

Madison's two other Perkins restaurants remain open: 4863 Hayes Road, on East Washington Avenue, just East of East Towne Mall; and 1410 Damon Road, on the Beltline frontage road near Todd Drive.

"We appreciate the support we have received from the local community over the years ... and sincerely hope that we will have the opportunity to serve them at our other locations," Brooks said, noting that the Damon Road location is about eight minutes away, and Hayes Road location is about 20 minutes away.

Perkins, headquartered in Memphis, Tennessee, was founded in 1958 and is about to celebrate its 60th anniversary. It has 393 locations in 32 states and Canada. 

"We're extremely proud of our heritage and our role as a leading family casual dining establishment," Brooks said.

Some customers on the restaurant's mailing list got an email message that the restaurant had shut its doors for good.

It said, in part, "Closing this restaurant was an extremely difficult decision and we apologize for the inconvenience. Your support and patronage over the years is greatly appreciated and we will miss serving you."

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Wisconsin State Journal food writer Samara Kalk Derby brings you the latest news on the Madison area's eclectic restaurant scene.