A Rubio’s Coastal Grill. Courtesy of the company

The Carlsbad-based Rubio’s Coastal Grill chain of casual Mexican restaurants filed for bankruptcy protection on Monday, citing declining sales due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The company said its nearly 170 restaurants in California, Arizona and Nevada would continue to operate during the restructuring. Earlier this year, Rubio’s closed all of its locations in Colorado and Florida.

“Rubio’s entered the year in a strong financial position, which has helped the company remain flexible in navigating the unprecedented impact of the pandemic,” said Marc Simon, president and CEO. “The agreement with our sponsor and lenders will position the company to thrive in this constantly evolving market.”

“This plan will strengthen our finances and allow us to continue to serve our loyal guests and drive our business forward,” Simon added.

Rubio’s, which opened its first restaurant on Mission Bay in 1983, has nearly 50 locations in the San Diego area.

The chain joins a growing list of restaurant operators that have declared bankruptcy during the pandemic, including Sizzler USA and California Pizza Kitchen.

Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.