Bertucci's closes Orange restaurant, two others in state

Casual dining chain Bertucci’s has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and as part of the company’s reorganization of its business closed three of its Connecticut locations.

Bertucci’s locations in Orange, Southington and Manchester have closed, according to messages left on telephone answering machines at all three locations. The chain is based in Northborough, Mass., and will have 59 locations that will remain open.

Here in Connecticut, five of the chain’s restaurants will remain. Those locations are in Avon, Darien, Glastonbury, Newington and in Shelton at 768 Bridgeport Ave.

It was not immediately clear how many of the chain’s Connecticut employees would lose their jobs as a result of the three restaurants closing in the state.

Part of Bertucci’s Chapter 11 filing calls for a limited liability company, Right Lane Dough Acquisitions, to purchase substantially all of Bertucci’s assets and assume certain liabilities, subject to a higher or better offer.

A stalking horse or bid is an attempt by a bankrupt debtor to test the market for the debtor’s assets in advance of an auction of them. The purpose of the bid is to maximize the value of the debtors assets or avoid low bids.

“The transaction is intended to maximize value for all stakeholders through a fair, open Bankruptcy Court-approved sale process in which Bertucci’s will consider all bids for a sale or restructuring of the company,” the company said in a press release. “As part of the bankruptcy filing, Bertucci’s has sought Bankruptcy Court approval for the consensual use of cash collateral and $4 million in debtor-in-possession financing which will allow the company to meet its post-filing obligations in the ordinary course of business for customers, employees, trading partners, suppliers, vendors, and other creditors.”

Brian Wright, Bertucci’s chief executive officer, said in the statement that the Chapter 11 filing “is expected to be seamless for Bertucci’s guests, trading partners and vendors, and result in minimal disruption to its operations, allowing us to strengthen the company’s financial structure and position it for significant future growth.”

“We are grateful for the service and loyalty of our team members and are looking forward to focusing on a return to Bertucci’s roots: authentic, high quality, fresh ingredients that guests and team members alike crave and care about,” Wright said in a statement.

Bertucci’s began operating in 1981. In addition to its Connecticut locations, the chain operates in 11 other states.