Gordon Biersch closes Arena District restaurant – The Columbus Dispatch

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One of the first Arena District tenants, Gordon Biersch brewery and restaurant, has closed abruptly as its parent company files Chapter 11.

Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant in the Arena District has closed as the parent company enters bankruptcy.

The restaurant, at 401 N. Front St., was one of the original Arena District tenants, opening in 2001, and one of central Ohio’s earliest brewpubs.

Gordon Biersch is one of the largest Arena District retailers, with 12,000 square feet, seating for 350 and an estimated 60 employees, according to the real-estate service CoStar.

The Arena District location is one of several Gordon Biersch restaurants to close abruptly following the bankruptcy of its parent company, CraftWorks Holdings in Nashville, Tennessee.

In a statement issued early Tuesday, the company said it was entering Chapter 11 to “substantially reduce the company’s debt, strengthen liquidity, and better position the company and its popular brands for long-term growth.”

As part of the restructuring, the company said it has closed 37 restaurants.

“As a further step forward in our transformation, we exited in recent weeks a select group of our locations that were our poorest performers,” said the company’s Chief Executive Officer Hazem Ouf in a statement.

The company did not identify the restaurants, but according to news reports, Gordon Biersch restaurants closed in Syracuse, New York; Rockville and Baltimore, Maryland; Virginia Beach, Virginia; Washington, D.C. and Phoenix.

CraftWorks also closed some restaurants in its other chains including Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery and Old Chicago Pizza & Taproom. CraftWorks also operates Logan’s Roadhouse and several smaller chains.

“The Company is serving loyal guests at its 261 locations in 39 states and the District of Columbia as usual, including honoring all gift cards and continuing to offer all loyalty programs,” the company stated.

The company said it is seeking to continue operating its remaining locations “as usual and fulfill its commitments to its valued employees, customers, and other stakeholders during the process.”

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@JimWeiker

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