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Foxtrot to reopen some locations after abrupt closures

Foxtrot cofounder on reopening 3 Chicago locations
Foxtrot cofounder on reopening 3 Chicago locations 03:28

CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicago-based Foxtrot has announced plans to reopen a number of locations following the grocery chain's abrupt closures earlier this spring.

A Foxtrot spokesperson confirmed the Gold Coast, Fulton Market and Old Town locations will reopen. A full list of reopening store locations will be announced at a later date, including "several" in the Chicago area. The company also plans to reopen locations in Dallas and Austin, Texas. 

Owners posted a photo of the sky on Instagram Wednesday morning with the description, "A new Foxtrot with some old friends. Coming soon." 

Foxtrot Market and Dom's Kitchen & Market suddenly closed their stores on April 23, six months after the chains announced a merger. 

Less than a month after the closures, Foxtrot Market and Dom's Kitchen & Market filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, according to documents filed in Delaware bankruptcy court. Foxtrot's assets were sold for $2.2 million at a May 10 auction.

The closure included Dom's Chicago locations and all 33 Foxtrot stores in Chicago, Texas, and the Washington, D.C. area.  

Following the grocery stores' abrupt closures, former workers at both stores sued the parent company, accusing management of failing to give employees the required notice of layoffs or proper severance pay.

The federal lawsuit filed in Chicago claims Outfox Hospitality violated federal and state Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Acts when it abruptly closed its stores and laid off workers without warning.

Both laws require employers to provide at least 60 days' notice before mass layoffs. The lawsuit, which asks for class-action status for all Dom's and Foxtrot employees, seeks 60 days of severance pay and benefits for laid-off workers.

Delivery was halted, mobile apps went dark, and store credit cards were cut off. All Foxtrot and Dom's account credits and member perks were voided.

Back in 2013, Mike LaVitola, founder of Foxtrot, then a graduate student at the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business, took the Foxtrot concept through the school's Venture Challenge.

"They kind of beat you up," LaVitola said in an interview in 2014.

Executives from successful start-ups like GrubHub and Braintree, which both rose up through the Venture Challenge, ask lots of questions about marketing, business strategy and planning.

After going through that process, LaVitola was convinced.

"We should build this thing. Let's do it."  

Now, LaVitola is starting all over again with the project he launched over a six-pack of craft beer and chips a decade ago. 

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