The micro-chain was founded in Tucson, Arizona back in 2007.
Zinburger Wine and Burger Bar announced that it’s permanently shuttering 15 of its 18 locations due to the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The brand said only its Marlboro and Bridgewater, New Jersey, locations will reopen. The Clifton, New Jersey, unit has stayed open for delivery and pick-up. Currently, New Jersey only allows outdoor dining.
It seems the COVID-19 pandemic was the last straw for the Zinburger Wine & Burger Bar brand. Fifteen of the brand's eighteen east coast locations have closed permanently, according to multiple well-placed sources, with the lone remaining one, in Clifton, New Jersey, situated in a center controlled by the concept's owner, The Briad Group. All but the Clifton location have been closed since March 18 with a message indicating then that they would be reopening. Sources close to the concept indicate that the chain had been "in trouble for several months" leading up to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The COVID-19 Pandemic has had a significant financial impact on the restaurant industry,” the company said in a statement. “Sadly, Zinburger is not able to reopen all locations as a result of the shut-down caused by the pandemic. “ We thank all our guests for their loyalty and hope to have the pleasure of serving you at one of our three remaining NJ locations very soon. We also thank our managers and teammates for their hard work and dedication to running great restaurants and wish them all the best.”
Fox Restaurant Concepts opened the original Zinburger in Tucson, Arizona, in December 2007. After acquiring a licensing agreement, Briad Group opened the first East Coast location in New Jersey in 2010. After much success with the first location, the Briad Group announced a deal in 2012 to develop more Zinburger stores. The chain expanded along the East Coast—from New Jersey to Florida—drawing in customers with made-to-order gourmet burgers, hand-spun shakes and floats, pies, and selection of wines, beers, and cocktails.
Rick Barbrick, president and co-CEO, said in an email to VIP customers that food and supplies from the 15 closed locations were donated to local food banks.
The pandemic has taken its toll on the industry. Garden Fresh Restaurants, parent of buffet-style concepts Souplantation and Sweet Tomatoes, filed bankruptcy to liquidate its assets after shutting down all 97 of its restaurants. FoodFirst Global Restaurants, Sustainable Restaurant Holdings, TooJay’s Deli, Le Pain Quotidien, and HopCat all filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy due to the effects of the COVID-19 crisis. CEC Entertainment, parent of Chuck E. Cheese, is considering bankruptcy with nearly $1 billion in debt.