This Popular Chain Restaurant Just Filed for Bankruptcy

The beloved restaurant was more than just an eatery, but now it's in danger.

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It'd be an understatement to say it's been a turbulent year for the hospitality industry. With lockdowns forcing restaurants to close for weeks or even months on end, some have had to shutter permanently or file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the hopes of salvaging their businesses. According to S&P Global, there have been more than 50 retail bankruptcies this year, the highest figure in 11 years. And this week, we learned of yet another filing: Punch Bowl Social just announced that it is filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Conceived as an "eatertainment" chain, the restaurant paired the usual food and drink offerings with arcade games and karaoke sessions for what it termed "serious foodertainment and real-world funning." But the coronavirus put Punch Bowl Social in an impossible situation.

"In a now too-familiar tale, the debtors' businesses were immediately and significantly adversely affected by COVID-19," Punch Bowl said in its bankruptcy court filing, according to Restaurant Business Online. "Unfortunately, because of restrictions limiting the number of patrons at each venue, as well as the public's uneasiness of going out to eat or drink in public during a pandemic, each of those venues was losing money on a daily basis."

Bankruptcy filings show that Punch Bowl has liabilities of between $10 million and $50 million, CNBC reports.

Pre-pandemic, Punch Bowl Social had expanded to 20 locations, having secured a $140 million investment from Cracker Barrel. But as the shutdowns began in states where the chain was growing—like California, Texas, and some locales throughout the Midwest—CEO Robert Thompson, who had founded the company in 2012, exited the business, the first sign of serious trouble.

Read on for some of the other recent casualties of the current economic situation, and for more retail news that could affect you, check out This Legendary Chain Is Closing Over 1,000 Stores by March.

Read the original article on Best Life.

1
Francesca's

francescas clothing store exterior entrance
JHVEPhoto / Shutterstock

Tween and young adult store Francesca's was once a mall staple, but in December, the company announced that it was filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Soon thereafter, Francesca's announced that 97 stores would be closing, which—when added to 140 locations Francesca's previously announced were closing in November—means more than a third of the chain's 700 locations are shutting down. And for another stylish company making big changes, check out This Iconic Clothing Chain Is Closing Its Biggest Stores.

2
In-Shape

Young man sitting and lifting a dumbbell close to the rack at gym. Male weight training person doing a biceps curl in fitness center
iStock

After almost 40 years keeping Californians fit and healthy, the In-Shape gym group announced that it had filed for Chapter 11 in mid-December. "As you know, California's mandated shutdown of gyms has kept us closed for the better part of 2020," a company statement read, noting that the statewide shutdowns have "dramatically impaired [In-Shape's] revenue." In-Shape is hopeful that they can re-emerge in 2021 with a smaller portfolio of gyms. And for another company taking a big hit, check out This Iconic Department Store Will Close 165 Locations by Early Next Year.

3
Guitar Center

Guitar Center storefront in Santa Clarita, CA
Juan Llauro / Shutterstock

Guitar Center, the nation's largest retailer of musical instruments, filed for bankruptcy in November. Guitar Center opened its first store in 1959, with its vast flagship store on Sunset Boulevard having been a fixture of Los Angeles' music scene for more than three decades. In a statement posted on the company's website, Guitar Center announced that they were entering a restructuring deal to cut debt by $800 million and planned to keep stores open during their restructuring. And for more regular retail news delivered right to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

4
Pet Valu

pet avlu store exterior
Shutterstock/Raymond C. Eichelberger

Pet food and supply chain Pet Valu announced early in November that it was closing all of its 358 locations across the United States. "The company's stores have been significantly impacted by the protracted COVID-19-related restrictions," Pet Value chief restructuring officer Jamie Gould said in a statement. "After a thorough review of all available alternatives, we made the difficult but necessary decision to commence this orderly wind down." And for more on the latest news in retail and hospitality, find out which Legendary Chain Is on the Verge of Bankruptcy.

John Quinn
John Quinn is a London-based writer and editor who specializes in lifestyle topics. Read more
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