Giordano's files for bankruptcy

 
 
Updated 2/17/2011 7:37 PM

Chicago-based deep-dish pizza chain Giordano's Enterprises Inc. filed for bankruptcy Wednesday.

Giordano's said it has "an urgent and immediate need for cash to continue to operate," according to U.S. Bankruptcy Court documents. The company sought Chapter 11 protection along with 32 affiliates, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Giordano's reportedly owes more than $45 million to Fifth Third Bank and was approved Thursday to use a portion of its $36 million bankruptcy loan to continue to operate during the bankruptcy case, according to the report.

The company, which on its website claims to have the "world's most famous stuffed pizza," has 55 locations in Illinois and Florida. Among the Chicago-area locations are restaurants in Addison, Algonquin, Buffalo Grove, Fox Lake, Glen Ellyn, Gurnee, Lake Zurich, Naperville, Oakbrook Terrace, Plainfield, Rosemont, South Elgin, St. Charles and Streamwood.

Several local restaurant managers contacted Thursday night said they had not been notified by upper management about the bankruptcy filing, but instead were informed by customers and through news outlets.

"I think everything should work out OK," said a manager at Giordano's South Elgin location who would not give his name. "It's been business as usual."

Company affiliates Americana Foods Inc., a major supplier of the Illinois restaurants, and Randolph Partners LP, which owns 12 Giordano's buildings, are also seeking bankruptcy protection, according to the Wall Street Journal report.