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Merced's Marie Callender's Restaurant & Bakery closes

Patrons at Marie Callender's Restaurant & Bakery in Merced were greeted by locked doors and a sign saying the restaurant was closed.
Patrons at Marie Callender's Restaurant & Bakery in Merced were greeted by locked doors and a sign saying the restaurant was closed. Merced Sun-Star photo

Merced's Marie Callender's Restaurant served its last piece of pie Sunday as the chain closed 13 California restaurants and filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

The doors were locked Monday and a sign told potential customers the location was closed, directing them to the corporation's website to find other locations.

Merced city officials said they were surprised by the announcement because they said the Merced restaurant was among the chain's busiest in California.

The parent company, Perkins & Marie Callen-der's, said it intends to close 65 restaurants nationwide. It filed Monday for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware.

A news release noted the weak economy has hurt business, with the housing crisis hitting hardest in markets where the company had the most restaurants, such as California and Florida.

Marie Callender's spokeswoman Vivian Brooks said 13 California restaurants are closing; Merced and Elk Grove are the only closures listed for the Central Valley. The company said 74 of its California locations, including restaurants in Modesto and Fresno, will remain open.

Online Editor Brandon Bowers can be reached at (209) 385-2464 or bbowers@mercedsun-star.com.

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