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Taylor Gourmet declares bankruptcy

The fast-casual chain closed all of its restaurants last weekend.
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Taylor Gourmet, the Washington, D.C.-area sandwich concept that closed all of its doors last weekend, filed for federal bankruptcy protection late Thursday.

The company filed for Chapter 7 protection, meaning it is not restructuring but selling off assets. Taylor filed 26 separate bankruptcy cases in federal bankruptcy court in Delaware.

According to the filing, the company has between $10 million and $50 million in liabilities and $1 million and $10 million in assets.

Taylor Gourmet operated 19 restaurants, all but two of them in the D.C. area. It operated two locations in the Chicago region. The company had closed all of those locations by last Sunday.

The sandwich chain is owned mostly by the private-equity firm KarpReilly, which invested $5.6 million in the company in 2015. KarpReilly has been ending some of its restaurant investments, having recently sold 17-unit Patxi’s Pizza chain to Los Angeles-based Elite Restaurant Group.

According to local reports, Taylor Gourmet had been struggling and indicated that it could close some locations. But its problems were severe enough to warrant the complete shut-down of the chain.

Employees of the company let go in the closures were already being targeted in job fairs amid a historic labor crunch in the restaurant space.

Taylor is a 10-year-old hoagie chain that had grown popular in the D.C. area, enough to attract the attention of KarpReilly, a major investor in restaurant chains. The investment fueled its rapid expansion.

Yet the company ran into some trouble early last year after Casey Patten, one of the chain’s co-founders, attended a White House ceremony on small business and met with President Donald Trump. News of the appearance created a social media firestorm, and according to some reports hurt the chain’s sales.

But that didn’t stop Taylor Gourmet from adding locations. It opened five locations last year and opened new locations in the Chicago market earlier this year.

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