The Marie Callendar's on San Ramon Valley Boulevard was one of 13 locations to shut down unexpectedly on Sunday, shortly before reports that the chain's parent company filed for bankruptcy.
The company is planning to close 65 restaurants and has already closed 31 chains. Locations in Walnut Creek, Concord, Santa Rosa, Capitola, Elk Grove, Daly City, Salinas, Simi Valley, Los Angeles, Merced, Napa and Hayward were also shut down.
"This initial round of store closings was arrived at following store level analyses of historical financial performance, local market conditions, and cost structure. The process to identify underperforming locations remains ongoing and will continue throughout the chapter 11 case," a release read.
The company emphasized that the closings were necessary to put the remaining Marie Callendar's on stronger financial footing.
According to a blog based in Concord, some Marie Callendar's closed without giving notice to customers or staff, one of whom found out that she lost her job from a sign on the front door.
"While at work, I lost my job. I no longer have a job but I still have a mortgage to pay and a daughter to take care of. I guess that is what you get after 20 years of dedicated service to my employer," another waitress wrote.
Vivian Brooks, spokeswoman for Perkin's and Marie Callendar's, denied claims that employees were not notified and said they were made aware of the closures on Saturday.
"It is very difficult to close one restaurant, let alone 13 in one market. Is there ever really a right time or right day to do it," she said. "It was certainly always the intent to do it in the most sensitive and efficient manner possible."
Marie Callendar's San Ramon location opened in November 1997 and reports show that shutting the 65 restaurants could eliminate 270 Bay Area jobs.
"There are still 74 restaurants that are up and running and welcoming guests in the state of California. We realize that it's an inconvenience to many people…but hope that guests will come and visit us at our other locations."