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Fox & Obel to Shutter, Says Remaining Food Has to Go ASAP

By Emily Morris | September 25, 2013 1:53pm
 Fox & Obel, 401 E. Illinois St.
Fox & Obel, 401 E. Illinois St.
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Flickr file photo/proxyindian

CHICAGO — The troubled Streeterville grocery store Fox & Obel has plans to close its shop and wants to immediately sell off the rest of its food, according to documents filed in court Tuesday.

The high-end grocery store at 401 E. Illinois St. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last week, months after health investigators forced the shop to temporarily shut down when they found 200 live fruit flies and 30 live cockroaches in the store. The store estimated its assets at less than $1 million, while its debt was estimated at between $1 million and $10 million.

Fox & Obel's owner, Vulpes LLC, filed court documents on Tuesday that state the debt-ridden store received notice last week that its electricity would be shut off, meaning the food is likely to rot within days if they don't sell it. 

The store states that it has been contacting restaurants, markets and butchers in an effort to sell the otherwise doomed food and asks the court for permission to sell off the fresh products.

The grocer, which the filing states "has been recognized as the best gourmet food market in Chicago," also stated plans to sell its furniture, fixtures and equipment.

Then it plans to auction off its vendor list, recipes, website and its 14-year-old bread starter, among other intellectual property, according to the filing. 

But the brand claims it has plans to continue its catering options with the help from a third party, which it has yet to determine.

In the filings, the store also claims that it's faced a number of struggles since the 2008 recession and that its newest building owner, AH-River East, failed in its management of the building and contributed to Fox & Obel's downfall.

The store was known for its gourmet food, including baked goods, and high prices.