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Charlie Brown's parent closes restaurants

Charlie Brown's parent closes restaurants

29 Charlie Brown's and 18 Bugaboo Creek units shuttered

CB Holding Corp. said it has closed 29 of its 49 Charlie Brown’s Steakhouse restaurants and 19 of its 30 Bugaboo Creek Steak House units.

Mountainside, N.J.-based CB Holding gave no reasons for the move in a Nov. 15 statement, and officials did not return requests for comment. However spokesman Rich Covey told Pennsylvania’s The Patriot-News that “underperforming restaurants” were targeted and that those units employed a total of about 1,400 people.

The closed Charlie Brown's units were located in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania, and the Bugaboo closures included all five of the brand's Atlanta area locations and five stores in Massachusetts, CB Holding said.

The closures followed earlier repositioning moves at Charlie Brown’s by CB Holding, which is majority owned by Trimaran Capital Partners of New York. This past summer, CB Holding chief executive Samuel Borgese said his company was exploring strategic alternatives, including the possible sale of Bugaboo Creek, which it acquired from Rare Hospitality Inc. in 2007.

Though Borgese declined to discuss specific sales trends at Bugaboo Creek, he told NRN in June that that the economic downturn had hurt customer traffic at all of the company’s brands.

“We’ve been as strongly affected as everyone [else],” he said.

The closure of the 30 CB Holding restaurants comes in a month marked by acquisitions, consolidation and bankruptcy.

On Nov. 8, Landry’s Inc. of Houston said it had acquired for an undisclosed price the 32-unit Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. casual-dining chain of San Clemente, Calif.

On Monday, private-equity firm Centerbridge Capital Partners LP said it had purchased Rock Bottom Restaurants Inc., the owner of Old Chicago and Rock Bottom, as well as Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant Group Inc., the owner of the Gordon Biersch chain, to create the new consolidated CraftWorks Restaurants & Breweries Inc. Also on Monday, Atlanta-based Ted’s Montana Grill closed nine of its 54 casual-dining restaurants.

Also this week, the Glazier Group, a New York-based operator of high-end restaurants and catering venues has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, according to court documents.

In addition to Charlie Brown’s and Bugaboo Creek, CB Holding also operates seven The Office Beer Bar & Grill restaurants in New Jersey. It had estimated 2009 consolidated sales of $219 million, according to Nation’s Restaurant News Top 200 research, down from reported 2008 sales of $239.1 million.

Contact Alan J. Liddle at [email protected].

CORRECTION: An earlier version reported the number of Charlie Brown's units closed as 20 and the number of Bugaboo Creek Steak House units closed as 10. Read the new report on CB Holding Corp. filing for Chapter 11.

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