LAKEVIEW — Einstein Bros. Bagels will close 11 Chicago locations on Tuesday, the company confirmed Friday afternoon.
Einstein Noah Restaurant Group is closing 39 "underperforming" locations across the country, effective Tuesday.
The decision leaves just four locations in the city. It upset longtime customer Mark Geistlinger, 53, who said he has been meeting with friends at Einstein Bros. locations for 16 years.
"It's part of our life, our routine, to support this business, and they just pull it out from under us?" Geistlinger told DNAinfo Chicago Friday. "All these years of loyalty and it's just gone. It's irritating."
Over the years, Geistlinger got to know many Einstein Bros. employees and said he respected the smooth, consistent business operations.
"They're all just good people doing a fine job," he said. "No matter how cold, the stores were always open on time with everything ready to go. It just hurts to see this happen."
Einstein Bros. Bagels declined to comment on whether employees at closing locations would be relocated or laid off.
In November, JAB Holding Company — the majority owner of Peet's Coffee & Tea and Caribou Coffee — purchased Einstein Noah Restaurant Group, which also includes Noah's New York Bagels and Manhattan Bagel brands, in addition to the Einstein brand.
The company released a statement addressing the closures:
“After careful evaluation, Einstein Noah Restaurant Group, Inc. (“ENRGI”) has come to the difficult decision to close 39 underperforming restaurants, effective Tuesday, February 24, 2015. The company will continue to focus on its high-performing restaurants to ensure the future growth and success of the business. ENRGI values the continued support of its customers, and the dedication and hard work of all its employees.”
Before Friday's announcement, there were 30 Einstein Bros. stores in Chicago. The chain consisted of 855 locations in 42 states and the District of Columbia.
The following Chicago area locations will close Tuesday:
• 962-964 W. Belmont Ave.
• 933 W. Diversey Parkway
• 3420 N. Southport Ave.
• 3455 N. Clark St.
• 2530 N. Clark St.
• 948 W. Armitage Ave.
• 5318 N. Clark St.
• 180 N. Michigan Ave.
Greater Chicago area:
• 17W432 22nd St., Oakbrook Terrace
• 682 Vernon Ave., Glencoe
• 480 W. Army Trail Road, Carol Stream
While many suburban locations will remain open — including stores in Evanston, Naperville and Glenview — these are the Chicago stores that will stay open after Tuesday:
• 1549 N. Wells St., Old Town
• 109 E. Pearson St., Near North Side
• 30 N. LaSalle St., Suite 100E, downtown
• 400 N. Dearborn St., downtown
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