Restaurant chain Bertucci's files for bankruptcy protection

Bertucci's

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Bertucci's now operates 70 restaurants on the East Coast from Virginia up to New Hampshire, including eight locations in Connecticut: Avon, Darien, Glastonbury, Newington, Shelton and Manchester.

The brick oven pizza chain announced late Sunday that is has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and is likely going to close a number of restaurants.

Also closed Monday were restaurants in Southington and Orange, as well as two across the border in MA, in Longmeadow and West Springfield, the website indicates.

Bertucci's financial woes are reflective of a broader trend for sit-down restaurant chains, which are struggling to maintain a steady clientele.

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The chain intends to sell its assets, it said in a release Monday.

The Framingham location on Route 9 is still open, along with 58 others. The company also has 59 locations, down from 79 last year and 93 five years ago, and it plans to reject 29 unprofitable leases, although it did not say which ones.

Bertucci's began in 1981.

Right Lane's initial bid includes $1.7 million in cash, the cancellation of as much as $4 million in debt related to bankruptcy costs and $14 million in new notes. Twenty-three restaurants in MA will stay open, according to the Bertucci's website. Chief Executive Officer Brian Wright, who took the helm in 2016, started the program to combat rising competition from fast-casual chains like Panera Bread. Landis Rath & Cobb LLP is Bertucci's bankruptcy counsel, with Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP as special corporate counsel.

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