The San Diego-based parent company of all-you-can-eat buffet chain Sweet Tomatoes has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
As a result, it plans to close up to 30 underperforming restaurants. The area locations, at 1309 Meadow Lake Parkway in Kansas City, and 8505 College Blvd. in Overland Park, closed Tuesday afternoon, according to employees.
Garden Fresh Restaurants announced plans to enter the Kansas City market in mid-1999. The Overland Park restaurant opened on the site of the former Princess Garden.
Sweet Tomatoes restaurants feature several buffet stations serving fresh produce and salads, made-from-scratch soups, hot pastas, fresh baked breads and muffins, and desserts.
But its Club Veg members received an email Wednesday saying: “Unfortunately, your local Sweet Tomatoes in Kansas City has closed. ... We have a long history in Kansas City and are extremely disappointed to have to come to this decision. We will miss you and thank you for your patronage throughout the years.”
Garden Fresh also operates Souplantation restaurants in southern California. It expects to emerge from the Chapter 11 process by Dec. 5.
In a statement, CEO John Morberg said: “By improving our capital structure through this restructuring, we’ll be able to accelerate the changes underway to refresh our restaurants and build a strong future.”