Yesterday, the local corporate office of Phil Romano's gourmet take-out chain Eatzi's Market and Bakery was closed down. At the end of business today, its outlets in Houston, Atlanta and Rockville, Maryland, will shutter for good, joining the Chicago Eatzi's on the deceased list. That means that come tomorrow, there will be but one Eatzi's left: the original Oak Lawn Avenue location. Does this mean the end for Eatzi's? Hard to say at the moment.
One of Eatzi's biggest suppliers told Unfair Park it was informed today that on Monday, Eatzi's would be filing for bankruptcy in federal court here. "That's not true," said a woman who answered the phone at the Oak Lawn store today. She would verify the closing of the other locations but wouldn't give her name. She passed us off to a general manager, who only identified himself as Drew and told us to call corporate HQ. We tried every extension, but nobody answered.
Unfair Park called the Houston location moments ago, and initially, the man who answered the phone there said he could not comment on the closing. Then he changed his mind: "Yup, we're closing," he said. "Not gonna lie to you." He says the employees there found out only last night, while some were processing orders for Thanksgiving dinners. "The holidays are just around the corner," said the Eatzi's worker. "Thank you, Mr. Scrooge."
That was the same thing they heard in Rockville: Desiree Lewis, the office specialist there, said workers found out yesterday they were shutting down the store. "We're all surprised and all pretty much jobless now," she says. "It's definitely a surprise. And there was no hint whatsoever, as far as I know. It's a pretty sad situation right now."
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Unfair Park was unable to reach Romano. When we do, and likely before, we will update. --Robert Wilonsky