Apr 23, 2024 - Business

Foxtrot and Dom's specialty food stores abruptly close in Chicago

Corner shot of Foxtrot store with people walking by.

Foxtrot in Wicker Park. Photo: John J. Kim/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Foxtrot and Dom's Kitchen and Market locations abruptly closed their doors Tuesday.

Why it matters: The Chicago-based upscale markets and cafes were popular local spots for artisanal snacks and gourmet food, as well as good places to work remote.

The big picture: The closings affect 33 Foxtrot locations across Chicago, D.C., Austin and Dallas, and two Dom's.

  • Stores across Chicago had already closed by Tuesday afternoon, posting signs on the doors thanking customers. Deliveries ceased and store credits are also no longer valid.
  • "We explored many avenues to continue the business but found no viable option despite good faith and exhaustive efforts," a statement on Dom's website reads.
A sign notifying customers of Foxtrot's closure.
Foxtrot's store closing notice. Photo: Monica Eng/Axios

State of play: Foxtrot billed itself as an upscale convenience store and cafe, selling wine, gourmet food, coffee and desserts, and Dom's was an elevated grocery store experience.

  • Foxtrot had big plans for expansion after merging with Dom's under Outfox Hospitality last November, promising to open 50 locations by next year.

Corporate workers were notified over a conference call Tuesday morning, and many store employees were left in the dark, Eater Chicago reports.

What they're saying: Lincoln Park resident Lea Ceasrine called the closings "devastating" outside the Dom's location on Halsted.

  • "We would have loved to stock up on a bunch of produce and whatnot. But also feeling bad for the employees that didn't get any notice," Ceasrine tells Axios.
An empty grocery store with tables and chairs and food cases.
A peek inside the empty Dom's in Lincoln Park. Photo: Monica Eng/Axios

Catch up quick: Mike LaVitola opened the first Foxtrot store in 2015 in the West Loop after starting as an online business, and the brand quickly expanded across Chicago and the country, while Mariano's founder Bob Mariano launched Dom's in 2021.

  • LaVitola said in an interview last year that Chicago corner convenience stores were part of the inspiration behind Foxtrot: "No matter where I moved in the city, I found there was always a convenience store on every corner, but it was never filled with the kind of products that I knew were delicious and innovative. These places were spread across the city but not next door."

This is a developing story. Check back for details.

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