PORT WASHINGTON N.Y. The total number of restaurant locations in the United States shrunk during the past year, as smaller chains and independents in particular had difficulty weathering the economic storm. According to the latest NPD Group ReCount, which tallies all commercial restaurant locations in the United States, the number of restaurants fell 1 percent this spring to 577,178 locations. A little more than 4,000 restaurants were closed from a year ago, when the United States boasted ...

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