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The Rack restaurant abruptly closes South Tampa location

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Published:   |   Updated: October 16, 2013 at 09:52 AM

TAMPA — The Rack restaurant, sushi joint and billiards bar in Tampa has closed in the wake of a July bankruptcy.

A paper “closed” sign hangs inside the glass door of the site on Platt Street, and the Facebook page was removed — an abrupt end to a restaurant that operated there for more than a decade. The last night of business was Friday.

The closure comes after the restaurant filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in July, citing about $121,000 in debts, with the Florida Department of Revenue owed the most, $84,292. A few weeks later, a related company, Gardenia Blue Inc., filed for Chapter 11 as well, citing almost $900,000 in debts, with about $374,000 owed to the state.

The Rack has been one of the stalwarts of South Tampa dining and preceded many of the more recent entrants that have together helped reinvigorate South Howard Avenue and make the overall area a major restaurant destination.

The Rack in Brandon remained open as of Tuesday, and staff there said there were no plans to close. Rather, they were busy decorating for Halloween parties.

Chapter 11 gives companies a chance to reorganize and dismiss debts, but whether the owners plan such a route remained unclear. Messages left with representatives of The Rack were not returned.

rmullins@tampatrib.com

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