Restaurants open despite bankruptcy declarations

Hometown Buffet and Tahoe Joe's Famous Steakhouse restaurants in the Northern San Joaquin Valley were open as normal Thursday, while the holding companies for those businesses announced a bankruptcy reorganization this week.

Buffets Holdings Inc., based in Eagan, Minn., filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization this week in Delaware. The company was granted access Wednesday to $30 million in debtor-in-possession credit to continue operating as normal.

Company officials did not return a call for comment Thursday afternoon.

According to a release for consumers on Buffets Holdings' Web site, the com- pany will evaluate its restaurants' individual performances to decide whether any need to be closed. The company stated that the filing "is not expected to have any significant impact on our day-to-day operations."

Reservations, gift cards and other customer programs and policies will remain in effect, according to the site.

Hometown Buffet has locations in Modesto and Turlock, and Tahoe Joe's Famous Steakhouse has a restaurant in north Modesto.

Buffets Holdings has 626 restaurants in 39 states.

In its bankruptcy filing Tuesday, Buffets Holdings attributed its economic woes to an overall economic downturn, including higher energy and fuel prices and decreased consumer spending.