Chevys Fresh Mex - History


The chain was founded in 1981 by Warren Simmon his son Scooter Simmon, when they opened their first restaurant in Alameda, California. It grew to 37 restaurants across California by August 1993, when it was acquired by PepsiCo subsidiary Taco Bell. When PepsiCo decided to exit the restaurant business in 1997, Chevys was sold to the investment group J.W. Childs Associates. In 1999, Chevys purchased Rio Bravo Cantina, a poorly performing chain of Mexican restaurants with 66 locations in the United States, from Applebee's International for $59 million.

However, business was poor at the Rio Bravo locations, and in 2003 Chevys' executives filed for Chapter Eleven bankruptcy protection. For the next year and a half, Chevys operated as debtor in possession under Chapter Eleven. In January 2005, Chevys and Fuzio Universal Pasta were acquired by Real Mex Restaurants, Inc., the Long Beach, California-based parent company of El Torito Restaurants and Acapulco Mexican Restaurants. Because of that, Real Mex Restaurants became the largest operator of full-service Mexican restaurants in the United States.

On October 3, 2011, Real Mex Restaurants filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and announced that it was putting itself up for sale, citing the poor economy as a reason. As part of the bankruptcy filing, no plans were announced to shut down restaurants or lay off staff. Despite this, in December of 2011, a number of Chevys were closed, including the following locations: Anaheim Hills, CA; Livermore, CA; Pleasanton, CA; Redwood City, CA; San Diego, CA; San Francisco-Van Ness Avenue, CA; San Jose-Coleman Avenue, San Jose-Curtner Avenue, CA; San Jose-S. Winchester Boulevard, CA; Tracy, CA; Champaign, IL; Brick, NJ; and Lawrenceville, NJ., On February 19, 2012, the Dixon, CA; Pleasant Hill, CA; San Leandro, CA; and Gaithersburg, MD, locations closed. On February 21, 2012, the Arlington, Virginia location at Ballston Common Mall closed.

Real Mex was acquired by a group of its noteholders in a bankruptcy auction in 2012.

Read more about this topic:  Chevys Fresh Mex

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