Wednesday, July 30, 2008

A Little Less Flair.....,

Some Chotchkies bite the dust;
Several national restaurant chains were shuttered on Tuesday, possibly offering an early taste of what’s in store this year for businesses that depend on free-spending consumers whose budgets are now being squeezed.

The parent company of Bennigan’s, an Irish-themed bar and grill with about 200 sites across the country, filed for bankruptcy, a move that will put hundreds of employees out of work and leave many landlords with empty retail space during a painful time in the real estate market.

A sister brand, Steak & Ale, will also close. Franchise units of Bennigan’s will remain open for now, a spokeswoman, Leah Templeton, wrote in an e-mail message.

The restaurants are the latest casualties in the so-called casual dining sector, considered a cut above fast food. Soaring food costs and a surfeit of locations have hurt the companies’ bottom lines just as Americans are choosing to take more meals at home.

The closings are “something we’re going to see more of over the next 6 to 12 months,” said Amy Greene, a director at Avondale Partners who tracks the restaurant industry.
Bennigans was the shizznit in Framingham, for half a hot minute, in 1987 after the TGIF thrill was gone.....,