The company that owns Rancho Bernardo-based Souplantation has filed for bankruptcy.
Garden Fresh Restaurant Corporation, based in Rancho Bernardo, owns and operates 123 Souplantation and Sweet Tomato restaurants in the United States. The first location opened in Grantville in 1978.
The company intends to close 20 to 30 restaurants as part of its financial restructuring.
None of those restaurants closing are in San Diego or the greater Southern California area.
CEO John Morberg is attending court filing hearings in Delaware, where the company will seek permission to close a significant portion of those restaurants expected to close.
In a statement, Morberg says: “Garden Fresh will operate our business as usual and we remain focused on providing fresh, wholesome food and great service to our guests.”
Customers who spoke to NBC 7 on Tuesday expressed sadness of the news of the Southern California staple.
“Oh no, not another one! Restaurants are going out of business all over the place. I hope this one stays open,” said Vic Shaar, as entered the original Souplantation in La Mesa for lunch on Tuesday.
“I love the fresh salads, homemade soups and focaccia bread,” Shaar added.
Other customers echoed his sentiments, but Ed Sullivan says the food “tends to be a little bland.”
Garden fresh expects to emerge from the Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection process by Dec. 5.