NORTHBORO (CBS/AP) — Italian casual dining chain Bertucci’s has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and closed 15 restaurants.

The Northboro-based chain said Monday it made the move “to position Bertucci’s for future growth.”

Fifty-nine locations in 10 states and Washington remain open.

MassLive.com reports Bertucci’s is closing locations in Taunton, Randolph, Wayland, Amherst, Longmeadow and West Springfield. Twenty-three restaurants in Massachusetts will stay open, according to the Bertucci’s website.

Bertucci’s said it had reached a tentative deal to sell its assets to Chicago-based Right Lane Dough Acquisitions LLC for nearly $20 million.

In May 2016 at the now-shuttered Bertucci’s in Taunton, a man with a knife fatally stabbed teacher George Heath as he came to the aid of a pregnant waitress. In his honor, Bertucci’s put a plaque on Heath’s favorite barstool. His widow, Rosemary, tells The Taunton Daily Gazette that Bertucci’s has given her the stool.

bertuccis stool Bertuccis Files For Bankruptcy, Closes Several Massachusetts Locations

Rosemary Heath and the stool in memory of her husband (Photo credits: Rosemary Heath)

The first Bertucci’s opened in Somerville in 1981.

(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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