MARYLAND — California Pizza Kitchen said the company is filing for bankruptcy, one of the most recent businesses hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic that has severely restricted operations in the restaurant industry.
The company is filing for voluntary Chapter 11 protection in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas, CEO Jim Hyatt said in a news release on Thursday.
"The restructuring agreement includes a commitment for $46.8 million in new financing which will enable ongoing operation of CPK restaurants," Hyatt said. "This proactive filing will allow us the ability to reduce our long term debt load and emerge as a much stronger company."
The company plans to keep locations open and operating, although it has struggled to pay rent at some locations. Whether locations in Maryland are at risk of closing hasn't yet been released by the chain.
There are four California Pizza Kitchen locations in Maryland:
ANNAPOLIS #63: 1870 Annapolis Mall, Annapolis
BETHESDA #29: 7101 Democracy Blvd., Bethesda
HUNT VALLEY TOWN CENTER #249: 118 Shawan Rd., Ste. FF, Hunt Valley
WASHINGTONIAN CENTER #223: 136 Boardwalk Pl., Gaithersburg
"CPK is open for business - take out, delivery, third party and select dining room and patio locations - and we will continue to operate in ordinary course throughout the restructuring process," Hyatt said.
Gift cards and CPK Rewards points are still valid, he added.
Before filing bankruptcy CPK had closed some restaurant locations in the U.S. following the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and "lease related challenges with our landlords," Hyatt said.
"We do not have plans to close any additional restaurants at this time," Hyatt said. "We appreciate your support and look forward to delivering the same innovative, California-inspired cuisine we've been serving for over 35 years at a restaurant near you."
The company is headquartered in Playa Vista, California. Its first restaurant opened in Beverly Hills in 1985.
Even before boutiques and malls were shutdown by the coronavirus outbreak, traditional brick-and-mortar establishments saw a nosedive in revenue and popularity with the emergence of e-commerce companies such as Amazon and Walmart.
Other chains that are closing some or all of their Maryland stores include Pier 1 Imports, Bed Bath & Beyond, Sears, Kmart, Motherhood Maternity, Dressbarn and more.
In May, the parent company of the preppy clothing retailer J.Crew said it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection amid flagging sales due to the coronavirus pandemic. The company has four stores in Maryland.
Pier 1 closed half of its stores to "better align its business with the current operating environment." Nine Maryland stores, including shops in Nottingham, Rockville and Gambrills, were removed from the chain's website. The company confirmed the stores removed from the website were slated for closure. Patch has posted the full list of the Maryland Pier 1 stores expected to close.
Macy's in February said it would close at least one of its 16 stores in the state.
A record 9,300-plus store closings were announced in 2019, and that number could be even higher in 2020, according to a report by Business Insider.
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