After four months under bankruptcy protection, a local deli will close the doors today on its longstanding store in Willow Lawn.
Padow’s Hams & Deli is turning over the keys to its space at 1601 Willow Lawn Drive after falling behind on rent and being unable to reach a deal with its landlord. It had been in the location since 1988.
Padow’s president Sidney Padow said it wasn’t the company’s choice to vacate.
“I got tears in my eyes when I was writing that closing sign,” Padow said. “We’ve been there for 25 years, and we still had a lot of loyal customers who would come in for lunch every day.”
Its dispute with Federal Realty Trust, the owner of the Shops at Willow Lawn, led to Padow’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing in November.
The chain owes Federal Realty $154,000 in back rent and has more than $1.42 million in total debt, according the bankruptcy filings.
Padow said the two sides couldn’t reach a new lease agreement after the business filed for bankruptcy last year. He told BizSense in November that rent for the Willow Lawn space was more than $9,000 per month, accounting for about 25 percent of the store’s monthly sales.
Sarah North, marketing manager for Federal Realty, said the organization is bound by policy not to discuss details of specific tenants.
Padow’s seven other locations, including a corporate-owned store at the corner of Gaskins and Broad, will remain open. The other six locations, which are franchises, also are still in business.
For now, the company has no plans to open a new restaurant to replace the one in Willow Lawn.
“The plan is to consolidate and save some expenses,” Padow said. “We’ve looked around for another location, but we couldn’t find anything.”