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Metromedia Steakhouses exits Ch. 11

PLANO Texas Metromedia Steakhouses Co., parent to the Ponderosa and Bonanza Steakhouse brands, emerged this week from its year-old Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings under a new banner, Homestyle Dining LLC.

Bob Hoffman, who remains as president of Homestyle Dining LLC, said the company streamlined its operations while in bankruptcy court, reorganizing around “a profitable core” of 256 company-owned and franchised restaurants.

“We believe the future is bright for the Ponderosa and Bonanza Steakhouse brands because of the high level of commitment and dedication we have throughout our system to focus on our guests,” Hoffman said.

Hoffman said Homestyle Dining plans to re-open one company unit that was closed earlier and “we have an international franchise location opening in the next month, and we will be opening a new alternative concept within the next six to 12 months.”

Metromedia Steakhouses and three affiliates filed for bankruptcy protection Oct. 22, 2008, in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware. The filing came just three months after S&A Restaurant Corp., its sister Metromedia Restaurant Group division that operated Bennigan’s and Steak & Ale restaurants, filed for Chapter 7 liquidation.

“We are quite pleased to have emerged from Chapter 11 as a stronger, more financially stable company,” Hoffman said.

When the company filed for Chapter 11, it had about 50 corporate Ponderosa units and no Bonanza stores, which are all franchised. The 2008 filings did not include the franchised operations. At that time, 168 franchised Ponderosa locations remained open under Ponderosa Franchising Co. and 48 Bonanza units were open through Bonanza Restaurant Co.

Taking into account unit closures before and during the bankruptcy, Homestyle Dining’s Ponderosa brand now has 34 corporate restaurants and 178 franchised locations. Of those franchised Ponderosa units, 133 are domestic and 45 are international. The Bonanza brand has 44 locations, all franchised, and 10 of those are outside the United States.

“Given the challenging economic conditions currently facing many of the communities in which we operate, we strongly believe, now more than ever, that consumers want big value for the money and that’s what our dining experience offers,” said Hoffman.

Contact Ron Ruggless at [email protected].

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