Restaurant chain Cosi files for bankruptcy after store closings

The chain, which first filed for Chapter 11 in 2016 and emerged a year later, will focus on catering business

Feb.February 26, 2020 10:15 AM
Cosi reported $30.7 million in secured debt and $6 million to trade creditors (Credit: Wikipedia)

Cosi reported $30.7 million in secured debt and $6 million to trade creditors (Credit: Wikipedia)

Fast-casual restaurant and catering chain Cosi is entering bankruptcy for the second time in four years, weeks after shuttering numerous stores.

The company, which has locations across the U.S., filed for Chapter 11 this week with the stated goal of creating “a stronger version of itself,” the Wall Street Journal reported.

In a filing, the company reported $30.7 million in secured debt and $6 million to trade creditors. Abandoned leases may cost the company another $2.5 million in damages.

It currently has 13 restaurants, three off-site kitchens for catering and another 16 locations operated as franchises. But in December the company closed some brick-and-mortar locations to cut costs.

It is the second time the firm has filed for bankruptcy protection. In 2016, it entered bankruptcy and emerged a year later, owned by AB Value Management and Ohio investment firm Milfam LLC, which bought Così with a $10 million offer of cash and debt forgiveness, the Journal reported.

The first Cosi location was opened in Paris, before two American brothers purchased the rights to the restaurant and opened its first U.S. store in New York in 1996, according to the report.

Cosi’s move follows a wave of bankruptcies and store closures that has hit retail real estate particularly hard. Fast-casual clothing company Forever 21, which filed for bankruptcy in September, was sold earlier this month to a trio of investors for $81 million. [WSJ] — David Jeans

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