One of the five Church's Chicken restaurants caught up in a shutdown of others across Charleston last month is now operating under new management.
The fast-food diner at 3303 Rivers Ave. in North Charleston started doing business Monday as a company-owned location.
The eatery near the former Navy base never closed, but the management changed, according to Church's Chicken spokeswoman Kim Miller.
"It opened today as a company-owned location," she said Monday.
Another restaurant farther west on Rivers Avenue remains closed as well as others on Meeting Street in Charleston, Sam Rittenberg Boulevard in West Ashley and Dorchester Road in North Charleston.
Miller said many of the employees who previously worked for the franchisee applied for new jobs with the Atlanta-based parent company.
"We made job offers to virtually all that applied," she said.
The company is working to reopen as many of the affected restaurants in the Charleston market as it can.
"We are working on the details as we speak," Miller said.
The other restaurants went dark after disputes over unpaid loans, rent and back taxes totaling more than $3.3 million with a South Carolina franchisee. The complaints have been working their way through the legal system.
Church's Chicken corporate headquarters said after the closings the company was trying to secure new leases so the locations could open as company-operated restaurants.
Most of the debt in question stems from a loan four years ago.
Indianapolis-based First Franchise Capital Corp. is seeking to recover more than $2.5 million from about two dozen inter-related businesses led by Charleston-based State Acquisitions LLC.
A separate complaint by New York-based real estate giant Vereit is seeking more than $815,000 in back rent and unpaid taxes on 18 Church's Chickens throughout South Carolina and Georgia. In all, 24 of the chicken chain's restaurants were affected by the disputes.