GEORGIA — 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 Georgia are at risk of closing hasn't yet been released by the chain.
There are five California Pizza Kitchen locations in Georgia:
ATLANTIC STATION #185: 264 19th St. N.W., Ste. 2150, Atlanta
LENOX #4: 3393 Peachtree Rd. N.E., Atlanta
NORTHPOINT MALL #67: 6301 N. Point Pkwy., Alpharetta
PEACHTREE #296: 5173 Peachtree Pkwy., Norcross
PERIMETER MALL #39: 4600 Ashford Dunwoody Rd. N.E., Atlanta
"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.
The parent company for J.Crew, the preppy clothing retailer with four stores in the Atlanta area, said May 4 it had filed for bankruptcy protection.
Other chains that are closing all or some of their Georgia stores include Pier 1 Imports, Bed Bath & Beyond, Sears, Kmart, Motherhood Maternity, Dressbarn, and Papyrus, a stationery retailer that closed all of its stores nationwide, including two Atlanta stores at Lenox Square and Phippps Plaza.
Pier 1 closed half of its stores to "better align its business with the current operating environment." Eleven Georgia stores, including two in Atlanta, one in Decatur, one in Marietta and one in Douglasville, were removed from the chain's website because they were slated for closure. Patch has posted the full list of the 11 Pier 1 stores expected to close.
As Destination Maternity continues through its Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection case, the company said it plans to close 201 Destination Maternity and Motherhood Maternity stores across the country, including a handful in Georgia. USA Today reports the company said it plans to close stores at the following locations: Atlanta - Motherhood Maternity; Newnan - Motherhood Maternity; Dawsonville - Motherhood Maternity Outlet; Columbus - Motherhood Maternity; and McDonough - Motherhood Maternity.
The news is a continuation of the recent climate for brick-and-mortar stores across America. 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.
Don't miss updates about the coronavirus in Georgia as they are announced. Sign up for Patch news alerts and newsletters.