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The Salem-based McGrath's Fish House chain's longtime Corvallis location at 350 NE Circle Blvd. closed permanently and without notice Thursday evening following normal business hours.

According to founder John McGrath, a number of factors were responsible for the closure, primarily the cost of repairs associated with a malfunctioning walk-in freezer and the structure's roof. He quoted that cost as being in the "tens of thousands of dollars." After receiving the bid Thursday, he said, the decision was made to close. About 30 employees were affected.

"Our business isn't as strong as it used to be, and the building had urgent, major repairs," McGrath said in a telephone interview. "It didn't make sense to do them because they're so expensive. The building is almost 30 years old. We decided it would be best to not keep it open any longer."

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McGrath said Corvallis employees were offered positions at the chain's Willamette Town Center location in Salem. Founded in 1980, McGrath's also has restaurants in Medford, Milkwaukie and Beaverton, as well as in Vancouver, Wash., and Boise, Idaho.

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"I feel bad about having to close," he said. "We tried to keep it going. Sometimes things change. We enjoyed having a restaurant in Corvallis for all this time. We've appreciated your patronage all these years and we hope your can join us in Salem."

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