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Foxtrot Set To Reopen About A Dozen Stores This Summer

Foxtrot founder Mike LaVitola is planning to reopen roughly a dozen stores this summer, mostly in Chicago, following a whirlwind saga that saw the grocer abruptly shutter its 33 locations in April and its parent company file for bankruptcy in mid-May. 

A former Foxtrot location in Washington, D.C.

All of the stores LaVitola aims to reopen are in existing spots, with the first two shops to make a comeback likely to be Chicago's Gold Coast and Old Town locations, Crain's Chicago Business reports. The company also plans to reopen stores in Dallas and Austin, according to CBS News. There is nothing in the works to reopen any Washington, D.C., locations, according to Crain's. 

Bisnow reported last month that LaVitola and others were mulling a restart.

To get the concept back up and running, LaVitola is working with David Magruder of Further Point Enterprises, the New York-based company that won the sale for Foxtrot's assets in a May 10 auction, according to Crain's. 

“It’s a totally new company starting from scratch, but [we] have the Foxtrot name and the [intellectual property] and a bunch of our locations,” LaVitola told Crain's. “We’re like a new startup again.”

At the new company, LaVitola will serve as executive chairman and Magruder will act as an interim chief financial officer and board member, Crain's reports. 

Meanwhile, Foxtrot's parent company, Outfox Hospitality, an entity created about seven months ago after Dom's Kitchen & Market and Foxtrot merged, is still sorting through the fallout of the hasty closing of its 33 Foxtrot stores and two Dom's locations. 

The company closed all of its locations in Chicago, D.C., Austin and Dallas at the end of April so suddenly that its workers reportedly shooed customers out of stores, locked the doors and left its stock of perishables and prepared food to rot — which it did for days on end.

That move has since spurred legal action. Former employees have filed at least three lawsuits against the company, alleging it neglected to properly notify workers of impending closures and violated worker protection laws. Two produce suppliers have also entered the fray, suing Foxtrot for allegedly failing to pay for more than $208K in produce and other goods before the shutdown.

Outfox Hospitality filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Delaware in mid-May. Outfox has between 5,001 and 10,000 estimated creditors, according to the filing. The estimated value of its assets and liabilities are both between $10M and $50M. 

LaVitola exited his role as Foxtrot's CEO at the beginning of 2023 to serve as nonexecutive chairman, then became an adviser after the merger, Crain's reports. He told the outlet that he was on the periphery of the new parent company. 

“I still have my own questions as to what happened,” LaVitola told Crain's. “I think everyone was really surprised that a brand that was this strong with customers and this strong with vendors ... could just fold up.”