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Last coffee call: Bella Bottega Tully's to close on Sunday as company files for bankruptcy protection
Patrons poured into Tully's Coffee at the Bella Bottega Shopping Center in Redmond this morning.
One customer mentioned that she's never seen it so crowded on a Friday before. As the morning rush continued, some people gave baristas greeting cards and said they were sad of the store's upcoming closure at 5 p.m. this Sunday.
First, the Redmond Town Center Tully's Coffee store shut its doors on Oct. 7 and now the Bella Bottega location will follow, a manager confirmed earlier this week, due to the company filing to reorganize its business operations under Chapter 11 of the federal bankruptcy laws.
Tully's regular Elizabeth Madaki sat in front of her laptop on Friday and looked around the store, which one customer called a community gathering place. Madaki was bummed that her favorite coffee spot was closing.
"I come here every day — I know the people, I know the staff," said Madaki, whose drink of choice is a quad venti breve mocha. "There's a sense of community here and people are always saying 'hi.' (People) count on this place — their lives and their activities are centered on starting their day off with coffee."
Along with the Bella Bottega shop, eight more Tully's will close on Sunday, according to a company spokeswoman, in Seattle, Kirkland, Woodinville, Tacoma and Port Orchard.
Wednesday's filing coincides with the closure of these underperforming coffee shop locations and the company's plan to keep operating those that make financial and economic sense, the company said in a press release.
“After careful consideration, our board of directors and leadership team believe that restructuring under the protection of Chapter 11 is a necessary step and the right thing to do for the future of the company,” said Scott Pearson, president and CEO of TC Global, Inc.
Madaki said it's a shame that the Bella Bottega Tully's is closing and feels that its customers would concur because lots of people walk through the doors each day and spend their money on coffee and snacks. The customers include Microsoft employees, gamers, nearby Evergreen Medical Center workers, tutors with students, moms and their children and more, Madaki said.
"I don't get it," she said. "I know the powers that be know what they're doing. They're not budging."
Rising commodity prices and challenging lease economics have contributed to this decision.
“The company will continue to have a formidable presence in the Puget Sound area,” Pearson added, “focusing on our core mission of serving the highest quality coffee in a warm and comfortable environment with outstanding customer service.”