Sbarro in Norris will remain open despite reports the national chain is filing for bankruptcy

Jennifer Suh

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Sbarro in Norris University Center will operate without interruption despite reports that Sbarro filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Monday.

Sbarro has been at Norris University Center since 2002 and it has served approximately 49,000 customers since Sept. 1, 2010, according to Steve Mangan, district manager of NUCuisine. Norris’s Sbarro sales are up 7.2 percent this year.

“It was one of the things that attracted me to Northwestern,” Weinberg freshman Dane Stier said of Sbarro.

After hearing news of the chain’s financial situation, some students said they were worried about the future of their Norris pizza fix.

“I’m sad,” Weinberg sophomore Elisabeth Wojcik said. “I think they’re pretty good as far as fast-food pizza goes.”

Sbarro Inc.’s financial reorganization will be a non-issue for its NU location, Mangan said.

“I don’t expect any changes,” he said. “If we make any changes, it will be independent of the bankruptcy.”

Sbarro Inc. reportedly faces a $368 million debt, which the company aims to reduce to $175 million. Fewer people at malls, decreased consumer spending and a rise in cost of resources such as cheese seem to be some of the main causes for the company’s financial difficulty, according to the court documents the company filed and other reports.

Despite the company’s financial instability, the company said in an article in The Wall Street Journal that its restaurants, with 1,045 locations in total, will “continue to operate … without interruption.” The court approved $16.5 million as interim financing for Sbarro Inc. to continue its operation today.

In response to Sbarro’s recent bankruptcy filing – along with the filing of another restaurant chain, Johnny Rockets, this month – NU students and administrators noted the current economy as a possible cause of the trend.­

“I think it’s indicative of the economy right now,” Weinberg sophomore Chris Kramer said.

“It’s a rough time for bankruptcy,” Mangan said.