The chain closed its stores and canceled cooking classes across the country in March as the coronavirus clamped down on commerce in the U.S.

(Bloomberg)—Sur La Table Inc., the specialty retailer of high-end kitchen wares and cooking classes, filed for bankruptcy with plans that could result in a sale to affiliates of Fortress Investment Group.

The company’s Chapter 11 filing in New Jersey includes financing to keep Sur La Table in business and support from its existing lenders, according to a statement Wednesday. The Seattle-based company listed assets and liabilities of as much as $500 million each in its bankruptcy petition.

The chain closed its stores and canceled cooking classes across the country in March as the virus clamped down on commerce in the U.S., according to the company’s website. By July 4, 121 Sur La Table stores across the country reopened, according to Wednesday’s statement, which said some of its locations will be closed permanently.

The bankruptcy plan calls for Fortress to act as a stalking horse bidder, which sets a minimum price for a prospective auction. Fortress is working with STORY3 Capital Partners, the company said.

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Sur La Table traces its roots to Seattle’s Pike Place Market in 1972. It has grown from just 86 stores when Investcorp acquired it in 2011 for $146 million, according to a filing and statement at the time.

The case is SLT Holdco Inc., 20-18368, U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of New Jersey (Trenton).

Sur La Table is No. 238 in the 2020 Digital Commerce 360 Top 1000.

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