BRADENTON -- Fry Guys, a French fry stand in DeSoto Square mall operated by anti-Islam activist Terry Jones, shut its doors on Monday morning.
According to assistant property manager Morgan Byrd, Fry Guys pulled out of the deal it had with the mall. Jones opened the fry stand in January.
Byrd said another tenant is already lined up for the Fry Guys spot in DeSoto Square. The new occupant will be almost a polar opposite of Fry Guys. It'll offer sandwiches, wraps and smoothies, Byrd said, but she wasn't able to release the name or final details of the deal.
The transition from Fry Guys to the new tenant started on Monday morning. Byrd said the mall has also recently signed other new tenants, including T-Shirt Station, Blaze Vapor Lounge & Smoke Shop and a pocketbook store.
"Overall, we're just excited that we have picked up to the point where we have a wait list for tenants and somebody that really wants to get their hands on being a tenant in food court," Byrd said.
Fry Guys did not close because of threats or poor business, Byrd said. She said she thinks it has more to do with personal matters.
"They kind of left with no good reason; I don't think it was for anything bad, I just
think it was something with personal business," Byrd said.
Jones has received threats because of his anti-Islam activism, and his name appears on a widely circulated al-Qaida hit list.
Terry Jones and his brother Kevin Jones planned to expand the business into Tampa's University Mall, but Terry Jones said after the Bradenton Herald reported on the possible expansion, the mall pulled out of the deal.
Terry Jones could not be reached for comment on Monday.
Janelle O'Dea, Herald business reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7095. Follow her on Twitter @jayohday.