Bar Louie, the self-described gastrobar that began in Chicago in 1990 and expanded across the country with more than 100 locations, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and closed multiple restaurants.
In Colorado, at least three stores closed suddenly over the weekend — in Westminster, Colorado Springs and Fort Collins. In all, 38 Bar Louie locations closed recently across Colorado, Ohio, Wisconsin and Michigan, CNN reported Monday.
“The company does not expect the (bankruptcy) filing to have meaningful impact on its day-to-day business,” Bar Louie management said a statement released Monday. “In advance of the filing, the company closed underperforming locations to strengthen its operational and financial position.”
Bar Louie expects to emerge from bankruptcy within 90 days, according to the release.
“Bar Louie is a profitable business focused on long-term growth with new investors,” Tom Fricke, CEO of Bar Louie, said in the release. “The sale through Chapter 11 will help us to focus on our profitable core locations and expand in areas that have a proven track record of success.”
Through the bankruptcy filing and sale, Bar Louie says it will be able to continue operating its remaining stores, fulfilling “obligations to employees and suppliers.”
News of the Colorado store closures came as a surprise to employees, according to reports by KRDO in Colorado Springs. Dozens of employees were told Sunday morning that the restaurant had closed. A Facebook post on Bar Louie’s Westminster page says its last day in business was Saturday, Jan. 25.
According to the brand’s website, four Denver-area Bar Louie locations continue to operate in Stapleton, Belmar, Belleview Promenade and Southlands mall.
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