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Village Inn shuts down six Colorado locations as parent company files for bankruptcy

Village Inn, the Colorado-born diner chain known for its pies and late-night menu, has closed six Front Range locations, some in recent days. Its parent company, American Blue Ribbon Holdings, filed for bankruptcy protection Monday.

There were eight Colorado Village Inn addresses listed in Monday’s Chapter 11 filing. They were:

  • 921 S. Havana St., Aurora
  • 12622 W. Ken Caryl Ave., Littleton
  • 1190 E. First Ave., Broomfield
  • 4775 Kipling St., Wheat Ridge
  • 5790 S. Carefree Circle, Colorado Springs
  • 315 N E Colorado 105, Monument
  • 207 W. Wolfensberger Road, Castle Rock
  • 1216 S. Hover St., Longmont

Of those, the Colorado Springs and Longmont locations closed their doors last year. The other six restaurants are now done serving as well, an American Blue Ribbon Holdings spokesman confirmed Tuesday. The list represents a quarter of the diner chain’s 32 Colorado locations.

American Blue Ribbon Holdings also owns the Bakers Square string of restaurants, a brand with no locations in Colorado, and commercial baking business Legendary Baking, which supplies Village Inns and other restaurants with pies. As of Monday, American Blue Ribbon operated 97 restaurants in 13 states and franchised another 84 Village Inn locations, according to documents the company filed with a U.S bankruptcy court in Delaware.

The Colorado Village Inns that went dark over the last few days are among 53 restaurants American Blue Ribbon is shutting down related to the bankruptcy. Of those, 33 were closed just ahead of Monday’s filing and 17 others already had closed sometime in the last two years, according to court documents.

In May, Village Inn announced it was shutting down its location at 400 W. 48th Ave. in Denver. Company officials at the time said employees there that wanted to stay on with the chain would be given the choice to relocate to another store in the market or receive a severance package. In Monday’s filing, American Blue Ribbon said it has laid off 1,100 workers related to its financial struggles and store closures.

The holding company attributed its need for bankruptcy protection to increased competition, decreasing foot traffic across the restaurant industry, high labor costs and “an increasing number of unprofitable restaurants (including due to unfavorable locations and high occupancy costs).”

The company lost $11 million in the 2018 fiscal year and $7 million in 2019. It estimates its liabilities are in the range of $50 million to $100 million while its assets are worth between $100 million and $500 million.

Monday’s filing show Cannae Holdings Inc. has granted the American Blue Ribbon a $20 million credit line as it goes through the bankruptcy process.