Soup and sandwich purveyor Hale & Hearty abruptly closed its stores in New York and Long Island, forcing the lunchtime office crowd to seek out another plain clam chowder to carve at their desks.
Hale & Hearty, which opened more than two decades ago on the Upper East Side and has since expanded to 16 locations across the tri-state area, posted notices at all of its New York outlets. York advising customers that, effective July 1, all stores will be “temporarily” closed.
No explanation was given for the closures, first reported by the New York Post, but the notices are signed with an enigmatic “thank you for your business and see you soon!”
The chain, which also sold sandwiches and salads, was mainly concentrated in the Midtown and Midtown business districts of Manhattan, where it catered to office workers looking for a quick lunch ; the chain also had locations in Brooklyn and Long Island.
The company scaled back operations slightly after the COVID-19 pandemic gutted its customer base, the Post reported.
Hale & Hearty’s corporate email appeared to have been disabled when amNewYork Metro attempted to reach the company for comment.
The company has been sued several times in recent times, with plaintiffs alleging the soup was not liquid enough to pay its monetary debts.
In May, Hale & Hearty was sued by the landlord of its location at Madison Avenue and East 40th Street, alleging more than $440,000 in unpaid rent, utilities, taxes, fees and interest since the start of the pandemic in April 2020. In March, the company’s Meatpacking District spot was sued for $600,000 in arrears. Last year, the landlord of his Fulton Street location said the company, which acts as guarantor for the LLC’s rental locations, owed $390,000 in back rent.
In June, the company was sued by a supplier, Dairyland USA, which claimed Hale & Hearty had failed to pay an invoice for nearly $160,000 for inventory. Additionally, the company in 2021 was accused of defrauding its employees out of more than $54,000 in worker’s compensation.
The company’s email appeared to have been disabled when amNewYork Metro attempted to reach Hale & Hearty for comment. An attorney listed as representing the company, Craig Feldman of Paris Ackerman LLP, declined to comment.