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NYC sandwich chain files for bankruptcy

NEW YORK Starwich, a fast-casual sandwich concept here, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, explaining in court papers that it was caught between escalating costs and decreased demand for its pricey fare.

Starwich, which is owned by Spiro Baltas and Michael Ryan, said in its bankruptcy filing that it would seek to sell itself as it reorganizes.

According to the filing, the four-unit company reported $1.2 million in liabilities, including $400,000 owed to suppliers and landlords and $750,000 due in taxes, an amount the company said it disputes. Starwich listed $400,000 in assets.

Starwich said in court papers that its average monthly revenue was $280,000. The chain is known for its upscale sandwiches and salads, made with such ingredients as braised short ribs, pomegranate chicken or citrus duck. Signature sandwiches range in price from a Roasted Turkey and Camembert for $8.95 to a Soft Shell Crab BLT for $13.95, according to a menu on its website. The concept also offers breakfast items.

Starwich, which debuted in 2004, operates all of its restaurants in New York City. An outpost on Wall Street closed last year, officials said.

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