The soup-and-sandwich purveyor Hale & Hearty has abruptly shuttered its stores in New York City and Long Island, forcing the lunchtime office crowd to seek another run-of-the-mill clam chowder to scarf down at their desks.
Hale & Hearty, which opened its doors more than twenty years ago on the Upper East Side and has since expanded to 16 locations in the tri-state area, posted notices on all of its New York City outlets informing customers that, as of July 1, all stores would be “temporarily” closed.
No explanation was given for the closures, first reported by the New York Post, but the notices are signed off with a cryptic “thank you for your business and see you soon!”
The chain, which also sold sandwiches and salads, was mostly concentrated in Manhattan’s midtown and downtown business districts, where it catered to office workers seeking a quick lunch; the chain also had locations in Brooklyn and Long Island.
The firm downsized its operations slightly after the COVID-19 pandemic eviscerated 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 a number of times of late, 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 over $440,000 in unpaid rent, utilities, taxes, fees, and interest dating to the onset 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 at its Fulton Street location said the company, which acts as a guarantor for the LLCs leasing locations, owed $390,000 in back rent.
In June, the company was sued by a vendor, Dairyland USA, which claimed Hale & Hearty had not paid a nearly $160,000 bill for inventory. What’s more, the company in 2021 was accused of bilking its employees out of over $54,000 in workers’ comp.
The company’s corporate 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 with Paris Ackerman LLP, declined to comment.