Romano’s Macaroni Grill filed Wednesday for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, though the Denver-based company emphasized the move is meant to try to get out from under leases on 37 closed restaurants rather than to downsize the reorganizing sit-down Italian eatery chain any further.
The 29-year-old restaurant already has secured third-party loan funding and does not plan to renegotiate contracts with vendors other than the leaseholders on the closed restaurant properties. Ramano's moved its headquarters from Houston to lower downtown Denver last year following the 2015 purchase of the company by a group that included Colorado Rockies majority owner Dick Monfort.
Filing for Chapter 11 was viewed as the “more prudent course of action” after negotiations with a number of the leaseholders broke down, the company said in a statement.
Nishant Machado, who took over as CEO of the chain in May, said the move is part of an ongoing revamp plan for the restaurant that has shed unprofitable locations, refocused on customer service and begun to move forward on rebuilding the brand in its current locations, which outperformed the general restaurant industry in September after years of declining revenues.