SALEM Ore. McGrath’s Fish House Restaurants, owner of the namesake 20-unit casual-dining chain, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and plans to close four restaurants in the next week.
McGrath’s has eight restaurants in Oregon and 12 units throughout Washington, Idaho, Arizona, Utah and Colorado.
Jim Balis, chief restructuring officer for The Restaurant Management Group, which is handling McGrath’s reorganization, said the company had too much debt and a number of underperforming stores in far-flung markets, forcing it into Ch. 11.
He would not disclose which locations were scheduled to close.
“We are going to be working with landlords and lenders regarding another five or six [restaurants] and we hope to restructure whatever is left at that point going forward,” Balis said. “I am keeping a very active line of communication with the lenders. I hope we will reach an agreement to get through the bankruptcy process as quickly as possible.”
The filing follows a string of high-profile bankruptcy reorganizations in early 2010. Uno Chicago Grill’s parent company Uno Restaurant Holdings, as well as Taco del Mar and Daphne’s Greek Café all declared Chapter 11 in January. Uno closed 16 underperforming units, taking its unit count down to 179 locations.
Balis said that brand’s owner, John McGrath, is still involved in day-to-day operations.