Church's Chicken Meeting Street closed (copy)

The Church's Chicken fast-food restaurant on Meeting Street closed Saturday. File/Stephanie Barna/Staff

The last two Church's Chicken restaurants in the Charleston region closed Thursday, just days after three others were shuttered.

The retrenchment began last weekend, taking out five locations in Charleston, North Charleston and West Ashley. Thursday's closings affected the Church's restaurants on Rivers Avenue. 

Michael Beal, a Columbia-based attorney for the operators of the fast-food eateries, said displaced workers will be paid.

“The intent is all employees will be paid for the time they worked prior to the closing,” Beal said in a statement.

The closed Church's restaurants were operated by affiliates of South Acquisitions LLC, which bought an existing chain with 24 locations in South Carolina and Georgia about three years ago. The Charleston-based franchisee is now being sued by its biggest landlord for back rent and by a lender seeking to recoup about $2.5 million.

Earlier this week, the Atlanta-based corporate parent of Church's said it was "attempting to secure new leases" so that the three Charleston-area locations that closed last weekend "could be reopened as company-operated Church’s restaurants. We are doing everything in our power to make that happen." 

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A spokeswoman for the chain said that statement was still accurate Thursday.

South Acquisitions has closed about a dozen other Church's locations this week. About seven were operating as of Thursday. 

Contact John McDermott at 843-937-5572 or follow him on Twitter at @byjohnmcdermott