Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Bye-bye, Bennigans

No more Monte Cristo sandwiches for me, I guess. Here's another retailer biting the dust, this time in the food category. According to this report, Bennigan's, once a favorite chain of mine, has closed all its corporate-owned outlets, and along with the Steak & Ale brand, is looking to Chapter 7 to liquidate. The franchised outlets are still in business.

In Chicago, this means two prominent sites on Michigan Avenue are dark today, at 150 S. and 225 N. I've been to both, and IIRC, the South Michigan facility was the busiest in the whole chain (AND...it's supposedly where Michael Jordan met his now ex-wife).

It'll be interesting to see how they re-tenant these and other locations. Will other national retailers of that ilk step to the plate and jump in, or will you have to find a completely different use? Will someone try to jump into some or all of the dirt? Company owned land could be an interesting medium term play. Just remember there are many complex issues to consider in a bankruptcy sale of real estate interests. Part of the problem is that some of the logical competitors may not currently have the resources to jump in. This is where creative real estate people can make money.

Oh, if you have a subscription, here's more detail from the WSJ. They are also reporting that Outback Steakhouse and Ruby Tuesday (which just imo ruined its menu last year, so much so that I'll never go back) are in trouble.

All courtesy of Traffic Court.

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