When our kids were young, they were obsessed with eating at Papa Gino's. Well, like other big-name businesses lately, this circle of life is fading away.

The parent company of Papa Gino's and D'Angelo Grilled Sandwiches is set to close by the end of this month. PGHC Holdings said it has received bankruptcy court approval to sell its business to private-equity firm Wynnchurch Capital.

I'm thinking a lot of my money was spent at Papa's over the decades, and now $20 million will seal the deal at the end of January. The company has something like $100 million in total debt and laid off 1,100 workers.

We have quite a few Papa Gino's around here. The bankruptcy deal will strengthen the chain's financial resources and enable them to remodel 141 company-owned restaurants throughout New England. Papa Gino's filed for bankruptcy protection after abruptly closing more than 90 locations. The closures left the chain with nearly 100 restaurants, down from 155 locations at the end of 2016.

So what are they blaming for the closure? A host of issues, including rising minimum wages, price competition, shifting tastes, and its own debt. D'Angelo, meanwhile, has 78 locations. It peaked at 139 locations at the end of 2017.

Have you been to Papa Gino's lately? It's been years for our family, and I'm wondering if that's part of the larger reason for its closing.

Phil Paleologos is the host of The Phil Paleologos Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. Contact him at phil@wbsm.com and follow him on Twitter @PhilPaleologos. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.


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