by Rob Malcolm


SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Lovers of pies and home-cooked meals in a restaurant that takes you back in time will now have to look at a map to find their favorite Perkins or Marie Callender’s restaurants.

On Monday, the parent company filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy and closed 19 Marie Callender’s locations.

Millie Stone is a regular customer at her local Marie Callender’s.

“I’m so sad to hear this. It’s an institution,” Stone said. “People have been coming here for eons.”

For Stone and other regulars with a sweet tooth, it was bitter news.

“I think they’re closing down a good thing,” Margaret Jackson said.

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The company behind Marie Callender’s Restaurant & Bakery entered Chapter 11 bankruptcy due to dwindling profits. Many customers enjoy coming in for a relaxed meal and not feeling rushed.

Tamara Dawn, a real estate broker from the Pocket, made plenty of deals from her favorite booth in the diner.

“It’s heartbreaking. There’s something about sitting down and being comfortable. So much different than the fast-food restaurants,” Dawn said.

Founded in 1948, the decor takes you down memory lane, and for regulars, they come not only for the pies but for those memories as well.

Gordon Adelman ate here regularly with his brother-in-law who passed away and keeps coming back at least six times a month.

“We come here for breakfast, come for lunch, we come for dinners, we come for anniversaries, we come for birthdays,” Adelman said.

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Underperforming locations on Sunrise Boulevard in Citrus Heights joined another in Modesto, leaving the Freeport Boulevard location as the last remaining in the Sacramento area.

Victor Medina manages the restaurant in Freeport and said phones were ringing off the hook with people wanting to know if they were still open. He was happy to share the good news, but paused.

“You don’t want restaurants or business to go bad, but at the end of the day we’re here and we’re glad that we are still here for customers,” Medina said.

The chain is owned by Perkins & Marie Callender’s, LLC, and the bankruptcy was an effort to sell the business. The company explained in a statement.

“Our intention moving forward is to minimize disruptions and ensure that the sale process is as seamless to our guests, employees, and vendors as possible,” said President & CEO Jeff Warne.

A full list of the closed restaurants wasn’t available, but the company to-date has 370 restaurants nationwide now remaining under the Perkins and Marie Callender’s name.

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