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Marie Callender’s bankruptcy; 4 NorCal restaurants remain open

The Banana Cream Pie sale signs may still be up outside ($8.99 for a whole pie to go), but the bakers have left the building.

This week, Marie Callender’s Restaurant & Bakery announced that the company is up for sale and filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy to facilitate such a sale, closing 19 restaurants in California and Utah.

That leaves the chain with 20 restaurants in Southern California (where the company was founded), four in Northern California and three in Nevada.

The Bay Area’s pie palaces emerged unscathed: The restaurants in San Jose on Blossom Hill Road and in Sunnyvale on El Camino Real remain open.

The only other NorCal locations still open are in Sacramento and Redding.

The closures hit hard in the Central Valley (Citrus Heights, Modesto and two in Fresno) and in Southern California. Utah lost its two remaining Maries.

“Our intention moving forward is to minimize disruptions and ensure that the sale process is as seamless to our guests, employees, and vendors as possible,” Jeff Warne, president and CEO of Perkins & Marie Callender’s LLC, said in a statement.

A home-based baker, Marie Callender started delivering freshly made pies to restaurants in Orange County in the 1940s. She and her family launched a wholesale business, baking up to 200 pies daily, the website says, before launching their first pie and coffee shop in 1964 in the city of Orange (there’s still a Marie Callender’s there today). In 1969, the first full-scale restaurant opened.

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