Babalu in Knoxville closing permanently amid coronavirus pandemic


KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – One trendy taco spot in Knoxville is permanently closing its doors as its ownership group lays off employees across several restaurants.

Spell Restaurant Group announced Sunday they will lay off employees at 12 restaurants across the country due to the coronavirus crisis and permanently close two Babalu locations, one in Knoxville and another in Birmingham, Alabama.

The group said in a release that the negative cash flow from both restaurants, “was not sustainable.”

Babalu opened its Knoxville restaurant at 412 South Gay Street in 2015. Three Babalu locations remain across the country, one in Jackson, Mississippi and two in Memphis.

RELATED: Where to eat: East Tennessee restaurants to dine-in, take-out, or order online amid coronavirus pandemic

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