Lunker’s closes doors
Published 10:49 am Friday, June 12, 2015
EDWARDSBURG — A steady stream of people filed in and out of Lunker’s Thursday morning, just hours after the Edwardsburg outdoor sports store and restaurant announced it was closing its doors.
Some of the people were redeeming gift cards they had purchased earlier.
Others had no idea the 30-year-old business had closed.
“We’ve been coming every year since 1991,” said Montville, Michigan’s Alaina Gubecka, who was there with five of her grandchildren. “We bring them here to see the fish and get fishing tackle for the summer here and other things… We are in shock… There was no warning. I drove up this morning and here we are.”
A store manager referred all questions to a press release that said Lunker’s has been placed into receivership — a type of corporate bankruptcy — by Teacher’s Credit Union, which provided Lunker’s with a commercial loan years ago.
It went on to say that Lunker’s never fully recovered from the recession eight years ago.
“While the big box stores were able to secure large cash infusions during those difficult times, Lunker’s was not able to,” said the press release. “An investor came on board and provided some temporary relief, but still it was not able to secure the funds needed to make it a truly viable venture.”
The press release said the on-sight restaurant — Angler’s Inn — exceeded expectations, but still was not able to fully help support Lunker’s.
“We couldn’t think of a better area for establishing this destination store than Michiana,” according to the press release. “The relationships, friendships and fond memories are something no one can take away from us.”
A sign on the door said gift cards could be redeemed from 10 a.m. to noon Thursday (June 11) and from 9 a.m. to noon today and Saturday.
Lunker’s started as a small bait shop in 1985, but eventually expanded to the 60,000 square foot facility seen today. Angler’s Inn opened in 1992.
Rumors are that a national outdoor chain may be purchasing Lunker’s.
When contacted Thursday morning, the representative said they had nothing official at this time.
A media spokesperson for TCU said the company could not comment on the future of the business, including what would happen to the building and its merchandise, because that is part of private member information. The spokesperson would not say if anyone has shown interest in purchasing the business.