Another one bites the dust?

Village Inn recently closed several Colorado locations, as did Bar Louie, and C.B. Potts' has been quietly shutting down several locations. Now, we have another chain that may be headed that way.

Craftworks Holdings filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy protection in early March and closed a Rock Bottom location in Westminster and Old Chicago location in Longmont. These two sites were among the 37 total closures of underperforming locations U.S.-wide. Craftworks officially operates over 300 restaurants across the nation; there is no word on if closures will extend to more locations. 

"Over the past 16 months, we have made significant progress on many fronts to transform our business and position our brands for long-term growth and success. Our team has enhanced the guest dining experience through the addition of new and higher-quality menu offerings and an improved guest service platform, and we have made good strides in increasing operational efficiency across our organization. These and other efforts are translating into stronger sales trends, with our first quarter off to a solid start for all of our divisions," said Hazem Ouf, CEO of Craftworks in a statement. "As a further step forward in our transformation, we exited in recent weeks a select group of our locations that were our poorest performers. We are now looking forward to completing an expedited process that we are confident puts our business on solid financial footing for the future."

Craftworks was able to strike an agreement with Fortress Credit Co LLC to provide at least $138 million, as well as assume certain liabilities. The transaction is expected to result in a reduction of the Company's debt by more than $140 million.

rock bottom
So far, only one Rock Bottom Brewery has been shuttered in Colorado due to the bankruptcy. Courtesy of Rock Bottom (Facebook)

"Throughout the process and beyond, we will remain focused on creating perfectly crafted dining experiences at all of our breweries and restaurants. Our goal is for CraftWorks Holdings to emerge with a strengthened balance sheet and a further optimized real estate portfolio that will allow us to execute on our growth strategy, compete more effectively in the casual dining environment in areas in which we have a proven track record of success, and continue to invest in enhancing the dining experience for our millions of raving fans nationwide, whom we look forward to serving for many years to come," said Ouf.

According to the company, franchise locations are not included in the bankruptcy proceedings, all gift cards to Old Chicago, Rock Bottom (and other company brands) will be honored, and all loyalty programs remain in place. 

Are you a fan of Rock Bottom or Old Chicago? How do you think the chains can improve to stay afloat? Let us know in the comments.