Red Lobster says it's not going anywhere amid bankruptcy filing, closure of 17 Florida locations

Cheddar Bay Biscuits are here to stay if Red Lobster has anything to say about it!  

Reports have been swirling in recent weeks about the seafood chain's decision to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, prompting Red Lobster to speak out for the first time publicly to clarify those rumors. 

"For more than five decades Red Lobster has been a part of your family's life. We've been there for your celebrations, big and small. We may be the place that you first discovered your love of seafood. Or where you met the love of your life on a first date. Birthdays, graduations, anniversaries and yes, weddings," Red Lobster said in a statement on social media. "We've been here for them all. And Red Lobster is determined to be there for these moments for generations to come. And that's why we filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection."

Red Lobster signage is displayed at a restaurant in Yonkers, New York, U.S., on Thursday, July 24, 2014. (Photographer: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Red Lobster officially filed for bankruptcy late on Sunday amid rising costs and an all-you-can-eat shrimp deal that backfired. In a court filing, the company said it has over 100,000 creditors and estimated assets between $1 billion and $10 billion, The Associated Press reports. Additionally, Red Lobster's liabilities are estimated between $1 billion and $10 billion. 

In recent weeks, dozens of Red Lobster locations across the country have shut down. In addition to Florida, restaurants have shuttered in California, Maryland, Texas, Virginia, New York and Colorado, to name a few. 

Restaurant liquidator TAGeX Brands also announced last week that it would be auctioning off equipment and fixtures from over 50 Red Lobster locations that are no longer open. 

Red Lobster has not publicly commented on these auctions, but did confirm the filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, saying that it's a necessary step to improve its business model. 

FREMONT, CALIFORNIA - MAY 14: A sign announcing the closure of a Red Lobster restaurant is posted on the front of a Red Lobster restaurant on May 14, 2024 in Fremont, California. Less than one month after restaurant chain Red Lobster considered filin

"Bankruptcy is a word that is often misunderstood. Filing for bankruptcy does not mean we are going out of business. In fact, it means just the opposite," Red Lobster said in its statement. "It is a legal process that allows us to make changes to our business and our cost structure so that Red Lobster can continue as a stronger company going forward. As many of you know, we recently made the tough decision to close a number of our restaurants." 

FOX 35 previously reported that 17 locations in Florida are now closed, as seen on the restaurant's website:

  • Altamonte Springs: 340 West SR 436
  • Daytona Beach Shores: 3162 S Atlantic Ave.
  • Gainesville: 6910 W. Newberry Road
  • Hialeah: 1750 W 49th St.
  • Jacksonville: 13090 City Station Drive
  • Jacksonville: 416 Commerce Center Drive
  • Jacksonville: 8720 Baymeadows Road
  • Jensen Beach: 3544 NW Federal Hwy.
  • Kissimmee: 4010 West Vine St.
  • Largo: 10500 E Ulmerton Road
  • Leesburg: 10010 US Highway 441
  • Orlando: 3552 E. Colonial Drive
  • Orlando: 7373 W Colonial Drive
  • Orlando: 8003 Golden Sky Lane
  • Sanford: 20 Towne Center Circle
  • Tampa: 17021 Palm Pointe Drive
  • Tampa: 2625 East Busch Blvd.

As of Wednesday afternoon, these 17 locations remained listed as "closed" on Red Lobster's website. 

Despite these closures, Red Lobster said it's looking forward to continuing to make memories with its patrons. 

"Join us. Dine with us. Root for us," the company wrote. "Together, we can write a new chapter." 

FOX TV Stations contributed to this report.