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Sandwich shop Even Stevens shutters five Arizona locations

(KTAR Photo/Kevin Stone)

PHOENIX – Sandwich shop Even Stevens shuttered five Arizona locations this week, and its signature donation program has been suspended.

The Utah-based company closed its Tucson, Arcadia, Scottsdale, Gilbert and Peoria locations.

The downtown Phoenix, Tempe and Chandler restaurants remained open, and the Scottsdale shop will be transitioned to a catering location, the company said in a statement.

Even Stevens also has restaurants in Utah, Idaho, Colorado, Texas and Washington.

The Gilbert restaurant became the first casualty in the town’s booming but competitive Heritage District.

(KTAR Photo/Kevin Stone)

According to a statement, the company has been aggressively restructuring and seeking ways to cut corporate costs and accelerate revenue growth.

The company notified community partners a few weeks ago that it would temporarily halt its charitable contributions during the restructuring.

The restaurants touted their program of donating a sandwich to charity to match every sandwich sold, keeping running tote boards on display at the shops and on the company website. The company said it donated more than 3 million sandwiches in four years.

“The decision to close the locations in Arizona was very difficult but was a necessary step to get the company back on track,” Brooks Pickering, LLC manager and chief restructuring officer, said in the statement.

Pickering alluded to unspecified “prior business decisions” that “have put the company in a difficult position.”

Even Stevens founder Steven Down ran into trouble with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission earlier this year over alleged misrepresentations made to investors about event centers he owns.

Down has stepped aside and is no longer involved with Even Stevens, according to the statement.

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