Central Mass. Papa Gino's, D'Angelo's close abruptly as company files for bankruptcy

BY Zachary Comeau

Photo | Grant Welker
Photo | Grant Welker
This Papa Gino's store at 545 Southwest Cutoff has closed.

The parent company of Papa Gino’s and D’Angelo has filed for bankruptcy, ending speculation about what happened when the company abruptly closed nearly 100 stores over the weekend.
The closings include three Papa Gino’s locations in Worcester on Chandler Street, Southwest Cutoff and Main Street. 
Of 16 Central Massachusetts D'Angelo locations, three are closing: 601 Donald Lynch Blvd. in Marlborough, 195 E. Main St. in Milford and 138 S. Main St. in Milford, according to a comparison of today's website locations list and an archived list from earlier this year. 
Wynnchurch Capital, a Chicago private equity investment firm, has emerged as the bidder for the PGHC Holdings, the parent of both restaurant chains. 
The proposed transaction, terms of which were not immediately disclosed, would significantly strengthen the chain’s financial resources, allowing the company to remodel and modernize 141 remaining Papa Gino’s and D’Angelo locations. 
The company said it closed 95 underperforming stores on Sunday to begin the process of restructuring. 
“The company regrets having to close these restaurants but believes focusing resources on a core of best-performing restaurants is the responsible approach,” Chief Financial Officer Corey Wendland said in a press release. 
In documents filed Monday, the company estimated its liabilities were at least $50 million, while its assets were estimated at no more than $50,000. 
The company had been pursuing the decision to restructure for some time, Wendland said. 
In the same press release, Wendland said the decision to abruptly close the stores were hard decisions but decisions the company believe were absolutely necessary to allow the chains to continue to operate 178 other locations.
In a Sept. 21 press release, Bunker Hill Capital, a Boston private equity investor, said it exited from PGHC Holdings, the parent company of Papa Gino’s and D’Angelo.
The firm acquired the holding company in 2005 for an undisclosed amount.