Sbarro 'Kneads' Some Dough, Files for Bankruptcy

NEW YORK (MainStreet) — Sbarro is moving from food courts to bankruptcy courts, as the popular pizza and pasta chain officially filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Monday.

Sbarro, which first opened 50 years ago and now has more than 1,000 locations globally, is looking to restructure its finances and begin the process of paying down nearly $400 million in debts. The company noted in an announcement that it has secured lending to eliminate roughly $200 million of that debt, but that still leaves more than $100 million to be paid off. That’s a lot of pizzas.

It’s hard to say exactly how Sbarro’s books ended up more red than its marinara sauce. Perhaps it was the overpriced food, or the hard to pronounce name, or the fact that the pizza always tasted reheated (at least in this writer’s opinion). Whatever the case may be, Sbarro’s future is now in doubt.

For the time being, the chain intends to keep all its locations open, but if it follows the route of other big-name companies that have gone bankrupt in the past year like Blockbuster and Borders, that could change in the coming months. And though we’re not exactly rooting for that day to come (at least not publicly), we can’t help but wonder what a Sbarro’s liquidation sale would be like.

With Borders, for example, liquidated stores have not only sold off books and DVDs, but also furniture, pictures and signs that were fixtures in the store. So what could consumers expect to find at Sbarros?

Sure, the chain has furniture, but it’s pretty much just the kind of chairs you had in your high school cafeteria, which aren’t worth the money let alone the chore of carrying them home from the nearest store. And if they do have pictures (I’ve never noticed one), chances are those photos are either of pizza, or at best, of famous people eating pizza. The latter could be appealing.

No, the real boon of a Sbarro’s liquidation sale would be the chance to snatch up their pizza supplies. Just imagine all the pizza cutters, pizza stones, pizza boxes that would need a new home, not to mention an endless supply of spices and other ingredients. Who knows, maybe you could buy up a bunch of these items and start your own small pizza chain. You could call it Sleftovers.

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