Dom’s Kitchen & Market and Foxtrot Closure Shocks Chicago

Dom’s Kitchen & Market and Foxtrot Market abruptly ceased operations on Tuesday morning, April 23rd shocking both employees and their customers. The closure impacts 33 Foxtrot locations in Chicago, Austin, Dallas and Washington, D.C. Dom’s had two locations in Chicago with one in the Lincoln Park neighborhood and the second in Old Town. A third Dom’s location was planned in Chicago’s Gold Coast where a Whole Foods Market had been located. Just five months ago, Dom’s and Foxtrot announced a merger that looked like a great opportunity for both chains. They looked to redefine food shopping and the convenience store experience. Dom’s Kitchen & Market would operate their full-service grocery stores in Chicago premier neighborhoods and their food commissary would supply Foxtrots small high end convenience stores with fresh specialized entrees and baked goods. Foxtrot CEO Liz Willaims took over the combined entity, Outfox Hospitality, with Dom’s CEO Don Fitzgerald serving as Chief Operating Officer. In February, Williams left the company to become the CEO of El Pollo Loco and former Whole Foods Market executive, Rob Twyman became the new CEO.

Dom’s first opened their doors in 2021 and featured a unique grocery experience with made to order meal solutions, Roman pizza, sushi, and prepared foods along with an extensive wine and beverage department. Specialty cheeses were complimented by fresh seafood and premium meat as well as a classic deli. It was Bob Mariano’s dream after successfully launching Mariano’s for Roundy’s which was subsequently sold to Kroger. Don Fitzgerald described the opportunity as their “last dance”, a chance to take everything that they had learned in their careers and create an upstart chain. Their plans included as many as 15 locations by 2025. It remains unclear as to why both chains ceased operations. 

A laid-off employee followed the closure with a class-action lawsuit claiming that an estimated 1,000 employees were not provided the required 60-day notice under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN) or Illinois Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (IWARN). According to documents filed, no employees received compensation or severance.  The class-action suit seeks only damages and any other relief under WARN and IWARN.