Tex-Mex Chain Don Pablo’s Files Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

by San Antonio Attorney

Don Pablo’s chain of restaurants sought for bankruptcy protection in the San Antonio Bankruptcy Court on Oct.  4, the court documents show.  Out of the 12 locations, only the Norwood branch continues to operate.

The attorney of the restaurant’s operator, Rita Restaurant Group, stated in court filings that efforts to recover financial flows have been negatively affected by the slowdown in the casual dining sector.

The restaurant operator blames tough competition as the cause of the Don Pablo’s financial problems.

In addition, the Mexican-themed casual dining is facing competition from fast-casual dining like Chipotle Mexicn Grill, Qdoba, Panchero’s Mexican Grill and Moe’s Southwest Grill, among others.  There are more Mexican restaurants nowadays, according to court documents.

In general, Chapter 11 bankruptcy helps a company reorganize its debts.

Court papers show that Rita’s Restaurant Group owes as much as $10 million in liabilities.

Based on court documents filed Don Pablo’s used to have 120 stores in the United States.  The business was launched in 1985 and it was one of the top full-service Mexican chains of restaurants in America back in the ‘90s.

Part of its plan to cut costs was to shutdown locations.  Don Pablo’s website reveals that there are only 12 stores remaining.  After filing for bankruptcy, four branches in Indianapolis were reportedly closed.  According to reports, a location in Battle Creek, Michigan was shutdown without notice; some of the staff found out about the closure on social media.

Michigan Works! Southwest together with FireKeepers Casino Hotel have made an effort to help the displaced employees of bankrupt Don Pablo’s in Battle Creek, after its abrupt shutdown.  They have been offered to apply for server, food preparation and cook positions.

The 22-year old location in Newport shut down after a heavy rainfall damaged the electrical and caused fire.

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