The casual-dining brand, founded in 1988, plans to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy. 

Southeast-based restaurant Fatz Cafe announced Wednesday that it closed all 18 of its locations permanently, according to local media reports. 

The brand’s restaurants were spread across South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, and Virginia. 

The company told the Greenville Sun in Tennessee that it “made the difficult decision to shut down all restaurants permanently, effective 8/23/23.” It’s planning to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy, meaning it will liquidate and cease operations. 

“While this is not the outcome anyone expected or wanted, we take solace in knowing that Fatz Cafe served its intended purpose by providing a place for family and friends to gather around a dinner table and make memories that can be cherished for a lifetime,” the company said in its statement to the publication. “We would like to take this opportunity to express our gratitude to all our valued guests as well as our outstanding team members and management, who over the years built lasting connections with the communities we proudly served.”

Charlotte Creel, who managed one store in Lexington, South Carolina, told News19 that “We knew it was coming, we just didn’t know when, on what day.” She said that her restaurant was called at 1 p.m. on Wednesday and told by the corporate office to close “immediately and permanently,” reported the Lexington Chronicle. 

Multiple stores put up signs on the front door letting customers know about the permanent shutdown. The one in Lexington read, “We are sorry to announce that after proudly serving this and many other communities for years Fatz Cafe will be closed permanently,” further stating that all existing locations are closed effective Aug. 23. “We thank you for your support throughout our years in business.”

The chain was founded in 1988 and was based in South Carolina. The chain described itself as a “traditional American-style concept with deep southern roots.” Some menu offerings included  burgers, sandwiches, salads, wraps, and wings.

The news follows the bankruptcy of fellow Southeastern chain, Wild Wing Cafe, which declared bankruptcy in July. However, its restaurants—six corporate stores in the Carolinas and 18 franchised locations in Georgia, Alabama, Virginia, Tennessee, and the Carolinas—remain open. 

O’Charley’s, with 91 stores across the country, revealed earlier this week that it closed 18 restaurants. 

Chain Restaurants, Feature