N.H. Hooters’ fate uncertain

Could New Hampshire’s Hooters be an endangered species?

The state’s three Hooters restaurants, located in Salem, Nashua and Manchester, are among the nine Hooters in the Northeast owned by R.J. Fitz L.P., a partnership of 13 investors that filed in October for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and, which, according to reports by the Associated Press, has until May 8 to decide which New England locations of the restaurants known for their chicken wings and scantily clad waitresses will remain open.

The May 8 deadline was part of an agreement reached between franchise owners and Hooters’ Atlanta-based parent company, Hooters of America Inc., which considered rescinding R.J. Fitz’s franchise rights after the partnership filed for bankruptcy.

Prior to filing for bankruptcy, R.J. Fitz owned 13 Hooters restaurants in the Northeast. It has since closed three New York locations, but is still operating restaurants in Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New York.

According to the bankruptcy petition filed with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Massachusetts, fewer than 50 creditors are owed money by R.J. Fitz.

The petition further states that liabilities and assets for the company are each between $1 million and $100 million.

While neither Michael Walsh, president of R.J. Fitz, nor Melvin Hoffman, attorney for the franchise owners, returned phone calls to NHBR Daily, Hoffman was recently quoted by the Atlanta Business Chronicle as saying, “There is no intention right now to sell the business.” – TRACIE STONE

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