Trigild to Guide Closing of 37 Bennigan’s, Steak & Ale Restaurants

Distressed real estate specialist Trigild has been chosen to assist in the closing of 37 Bennigan’s and Steak & Ale restaurants in 13 states. The two restaurant chains, both subsidiaries of Metromedia Restaurant Group, filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection, which enables the filer to liquidate its assets. Not all stores under the Bennigan’s and Steak & Ale’s name filed, as many franchisee-owned sites remain open. Both chains were stung by the economic downturn that affected the market for casual dining. San Diego-based Trigild, which specializes in distressed real estate and receivership cases, will now be responsible for securing and closing the affected restaurants. The firm will secure closing permits, offload inventory, settle leases and notify vendors of the changes until the branches are fully closed. Additionally, Trigild was appointed the receiver of 23 Steak & Ale franchises. In this capacity, Trigild is able to sell these fee simple and leasehold property restaurants with court approval. Trigild was selected due to its experience with firms in economic downturns. As Trigild’s CEO Bill Hoffman stated in a release, “The bankruptcy trustee determined that the best resolution was to close the businesses and hire Trigild to professionally do the job, as we have a long history of dealing with distressed properties.” The closings come on the heels of Darden Restaurants releasing an adjusted first quarter earnings outlook that was weaker than expected. Darden, a multi-brand casual dining restaurant operator, is the parent company of restaurants including Red Lobster and Olive Garden. These events shed light on the depressed state of the casual dining market, as its peer companies’ stocks dropped with Darden’s announcement.