(Feb. 23) BOSTON — Ground Round employees by the thousands have found themselves suddenly out of work in the wake of the chain’s parent company filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

But some Ground Round restaurants remain open and are likely to keep a considerable percentage of the chain’s normal supply lines flowing.

Ground Round’s parent company, Braintree-based American Hospitality Concepts, abruptly closed 59 company-owned Ground Round and other partner restaurants nationwide Feb. 13, laying off more than 3,000 employees, before filing for bankruptcy protection Feb. 19 in Boston.

The companies will use the bankruptcy process to liquidate all of their assets by April 8, according to court documents. The aggregate book value of the bankrupt entities is about $24.6 million.

Telephone calls to American Hospitality Concepts and the Ground Round were not returned.

At least one supplier to several Ground Round restaurants in the Boston area has had similar results in his efforts to get paid.

“We’ve left messages at their headquarters, and our sales manager has been trying to get information from their regional reps,” said Louis Fin, co-owner of Chelsea-based F&B Fruit & Produce Inc., which made daily deliveries to seven Boston-area restaurants that the company closed. “There was no notice, no nothing.”

Fin estimated American Hospitality Concepts owes his company $23,000.

“That’s a very tough hit for us,” Fin said. “They had been good payers up until then. We never had any problems, no skipped invoices. Their last check did come back.”

The move has left many questions.

“I’m not sure what the business plan is for it,” said Warren Hutchins, who retired as vice president of product development and supply management for The Ground Round Jan. 1 after 22 years with the chain and a 38-year career in the food industry. “I’d suspect it would be for sale of the company.”

Hutchins said about half of Ground Round product is supplied by local distributors and the other half from broadliners.

In a statement released Feb. 20, American Hospitality Concepts said senior lenders had unexpectedly terminated financing.

The company said it had received a commitment for so-called debtor-in-possession financing and would address its obligations to employees, vendors and franchisees.

The 59 company-owned Ground Round, Berkshire Grill, Tin Alley Grille and Tap & Grill restaurants were shut down with little notice, according to news reports. Closures were so abrupt, in some cases, that managers were told to kick out customers and stash food in the freezer.

An additional 73 Ground Round restaurants owned and run by franchisees remain open.

Hutchins, who had agreed to stay on as a part-time consultant with Ground Round for one year, said Feb. 25 that he was not sure about his status with the company, adding that he suspected that the company would like to sell all of its restaurants to franchisees.

Shutdowns occurred nationwide, affecting only company-owned units.

Meanwhile, produce suppliers working with remaining Ground Round units can expect to continue doing at least a major portion of their business, Hutchins said.

“More than half the total volume in the supply chain will remain,” Hutchins said. “I’d say that 60-65% of the former volume is still needed.”

In its initial filings, American Hospitality Concepts said that it had less than $50,000 in assets and $10 million to $50 million in debt owed to as many as 15 creditors.

“It did come as a surprise because it was a financial decision between the owners and the banks,” Hutchins said.

In order to wind down and sell its operations, American Hospitality Concepts, which operates as a holding company, entered an emergency motion in the bankruptcy court to allow it to obtain $720,000 in post-petition financing from an entity named GRR Holdings LLC and grant that lender priority administrative claim status.

The company has retained John Haggerty of Boston-based Argus Management Corp. as chief restructuring officer to assist with the closure and sale of American Hospitality Concepts and its subsidiaries.