Imagine the hubris it takes to open 17 sandwich shops in the DC area and then have your picture and video of you shown nationally meeting with Donald Trump. The District of Columbia gave over 90% of its vote to Hillary Clinton, and then voted with their pocketbooks by avoiding Taylor Gourmet to the point where they announced they're out of business, as of tomorrow.
Donald Trump, the kiss of death, strikes again.
Taylor Gourmet will close all 17 of its DC-area stores after Sunday, September 23. Friday is the last day for the hoagie chain’s two Chicago stores. The closures come as Connecticut-based private equity firm KarpReilly, which infused Taylor Gourmet with a reported $5.6 million investment in 2015, pulled out of the company. Owner Casey Patten declined to comment, but a spokesperson confirmed the news. Representatives for KarpReilly were not immediately available for comment.
Multiple sources familiar with the company tell Washingtonian that a Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing is imminent. Nothing has been filed yet, and a spokesperson declined to comment on a potential bankruptcy.
How did we get here? Taylor Gourmet’s official line is that its rapid expansion may have been too much, too fast. Patten told the Washington Business Journal last week that Taylor Gourmet stores were still profitable, but he was considering closing three locations. He blamed changes in the fast-casual world and increased competition driving up real estate prices. He said the problem was that some of the stores had more square footage than they needed.
However, three people familiar with the company say sales began to decline after owner Patten met with President Donald Trump at a small business roundtable at the White House in January 2017.
“Our sales dropped 40 percent the next day,” says one source who spoke on the condition of anonymity. “And it persisted and never really got any better.”