Operations

Salad concept Green District files Chapter 11 bankruptcy

The fast-casual chain was born in Kentucky and had big plans for franchise expansion before rising interest rates put a damper on growth, the company said.
Green District
It's not clear which locations have closed, but this one is in Louisville. | Photo: Googlemaps.

The Louisville, Ky.-based parent of the Green District salad chain filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy last week.

The company operates nine fast-casual Green District units in Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio and Colorado offering a menu of salads, wraps, grain bowls and “Toastys,” or toasted wraps. Dressings are made in house.

In court documents, Green District Franchisee Parent Inc. said it has between 200 and 999 creditors and estimated assets between $1 million and $10 million. The company has about 168 employees.

Green District was founded in 2017 by partners Chris Furlow, who serves as the chain’s chief development officer, Jordan Doepke, and Matt Petty.

Green District had reportedly won an investment from Louisville-based private-equity firm Castellan Group in 2020. At the time, the chain had the goal of reaching $100 million in revenue by 2026.

Last year, Green District pushed for expansion, signing leases in Tennessee, Florida, Arizona and Utah. According to a press release a year ago, the company planned to add 12 new locations by mid-2023.

But the rising interest rates last year put a damper on those plans. In court documents, the company said it “could not profitably continue” that expansion and began working with landlords, contractors and other creditors to resolve liabilities left for restaurants that never opened or never generated revenue.

The chain has closed “numerous” locations since May, and two more restaurants were expected to close before the end of August. One franchisee also filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy last week related to a Green District location in Avon, Ind., which was owned by VVB Inc.

Green District officials did not respond to requests for more information.

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