Brigham's restaurants look to bankruptcy protection
The head of a Maryland company that owns 13 Brigham's restaurants said that those restaurants will seek to file for bankruptcy protection.
Luke T. Cooper of Deal Metrics LLC, the Maryland company that bought Brigham's restaurants last year, said that the filing could come as early as tomorrow.
Another 14 restaurants affiliated with Brigham's are operated by independent licensees. They are not expected to be part of the bankruptcy filing.
News of the bankruptcy follows the closing earlier this month of the last Brigham’s franchise store in Boston. (To read a Globe story about that store closing, please click here.)
Deal Metric has since closed some of the other Brigham's it operates and Cooper said he plans to close more.
Kathy Hogan, a waitress at the Arlington Brigham's for 36 years, said a co-worker called her Friday morning to say sheriff's deputies were there to evict everyone and change the locks.
Hogan, 61, said she hasn't been paid for the "past couple of weeks" and that the shop manager had to pay for ice cream and food with cash from the register. A crack in the storefront window was fixed with duct tape, she said. Hogan said despite the restaurant's shabby appearance, regulars remained faithful. Some were like family, she said, and she regrets that she did not have a chance to say goodbye.
"They way they did it was terrible," Hogan said.
In mid 2008, Brigham's Ice Cream Inc., a nearly century-old local ice cream institution, was sold off and split between two buyers. Deal Metrics bought restaurants, and HP Hood LLC, the Lynnfield dairy firm, got the Brigham's brand name, its recipes, and its packaged ice cream business. (To read a Globe story about the sale, please click here.)
In an e-mail, a Hood spokeswoman wrote: "It is important to note that Hood is proud of and committed to the ongoing production of Brigham's Ice Cream, which will continue to be manufactured using the same Brigham's recipes, under the same high quality standards consumers have come to expect from the Brigham's brand. Consumers will continue to find and enjoy Brigham's Ice Cream and Elan Frozen Yogurt in their local grocer's freezer." (Globe Staff)