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Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. posts a sign announcing it's closed Friday, Aug. 9, 2019, in Charleston. Gavin McIntyre/Staff

A seafood spot in the heart of Charleston's tourism district abruptly shut its doors and removed its signage after closing Thursday.

Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. is dark and no longer exists at 99 S. Market St., next to the bustling City Market. Signs and menus posted outside have been taken down.

The Texas-based company issued a statement late Friday saying the restaurant's decision to depart was related to its lease arrangement.

"Due to a natural lease expiration, Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. located at 99 S. Market St. ceased operations on Thursday, Aug. 8," chief operations officer Jim Default said. "We value our employees, their dedication to our company and are working to relocate them. We are grateful for the support of the Charleston community for the past 19 years.”

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Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. is no longer serving in downtown Charleston. Emily Williams/Staff

Bubba Gump is part of Landry's Inc. of Houston, which owns and operates more than 600 multi-branded restaurants, hotels, casinos and entertainment destinations across the U.S.

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The company has removed the Charleston location from its list of restaurant sites, which now shows 39 in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and other international locations.

The restaurant was located on South Market Street between other commercial businesses. The site includes a large outdoor seating area. The property is owned by First Citizens Bank & Trust Co., according to Charleston County land records.

Two seafood restaurants recently launched within a few blocks of the former Bubba Gump location. In the spring, Hooked Seafood opened on North Market Street and A.W. Shucks Seafood Shack started serving on lower King Street. 

Reach Warren L. Wise at 843-937-5524. Follow him on Twitter @warrenlancewise.

Warren Lance Wise covers retail, real estate and Charleston International Airport for The Post and Courier. A graduate of the University of South Carolina, he holds nearly 50 local, state and national awards for journalistic excellence.

Emily Williams is a business reporter at The Post and Courier, covering tourism and employment. She also writes the Business Headlines newsletter, which is published twice a week. Before moving to Charleston, her byline appeared in The Boston Globe.