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Specialty Restaurants to Reorganize : Finance: Chain based in Anaheim files for Chapter 11 protection. Some units will close. Orange Hill will stay open.

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Specialty Restaurants Corp., an Anaheim-based chain of 55 restaurants nationwide, filed Tuesday to reorganize under Chapter 11 of the federal bankruptcy code, a company official said.

The company does not plan to close any of its locations in Southern California, but it will close or sell some unprofitable restaurants in such states as Texas, New York and Florida, said William Tallichet, general manager of the firm’s Ports O’ Call restaurant in San Pedro.

The company’s other Southland eateries include Odyssey in Grenada Hills, Luminarias Restaurant in Monterey Park, Shanghai Reds in Marina del Rey and Orange Hill in Orange.

“The primary restaurants in Southern California have always been the most successful, profit-making operations of our restaurants,” Tallichet said.

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In addition to closing or selling some restaurants, the company will use its reorganization period to sell some non-restaurant assets, such as a vintage airplane collection and undeveloped land, said Tallichet, son of the chairman and president of the parent company, David Tallichet Jr.

In June, the company recorded its first annual loss in the 35 years that his father has run the company, Tallichet said. He said the loss has made it difficult for the company to manage a restructuring, prompting the bankruptcy filing, which will give it protection from creditors while it reorganizes.

In addition, loss of revenue after a fire June 29 that destroyed the Castaway restaurant in Burbank has hurt the company financially, Tallichet said. But the restaurant has been operating a banquet facility and plans to reopen within 18 to 24 months, he said.

The bankruptcy filing “is a very good thing” for the company, Tallichet said. It will eventually make the company more financially secure, he said.

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The company plans to emerge from Chapter 11 in four to six months once it reorganizes, Tallichet said.

The privately held company has annual revenue of $150 million to $200 million and employs 7,000, according to Standard & Poor’s.


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