A hoagie sandwich chain called Taylor Gourmet, which first opened in Washington, DC and then expanded to locations in Chicago, is closing this weekend.

While many reasons have been given for the closure, insiders say the chain suffered a massive drop in sales after it became known that the owner had a meeting with Trump.

Jessica Sidman writes at The Washingtonian:

Hoagie Chain Taylor Gourmet Will Close All of Its Stores

Taylor Gourmet will close all 17 of its DC-area stores after Sunday, September 23. Friday is the last day for the hoagie chain’s two Chicago stores. The closures come as Connecticut-based private equity firm KarpReilly, which infused Taylor Gourmet with a reported $5.6 million investment in 2015, pulled out of the company. Owner Casey Patten declined to comment, but a spokesperson confirmed the news. Representatives for KarpReilly were not immediately available for comment.

Multiple sources familiar with the company tell Washingtonian that a Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing is imminent. Nothing has been filed yet, and a spokesperson declined to comment on a potential bankruptcy.

Patten cited rising real estate prices and increased competition as reasons for the closures but this is the part of the report which jumps off the page:

However, three people familiar with the company say sales began to decline after owner Patten met with President Donald Trump at a small business roundtable at the White House in January 2017. Facing backlash and calls for boycotts, Patten told the Washington Post that he’s apolitical when it comes to business and pointed out he also participated in a roundtable discussion with President Barack Obama in 2012. The restaurant posted a “Less Politics, More Hoagies” sign at its Chinatown shop.

“Our sales dropped 40 percent the next day,” says one source who spoke on the condition of anonymity. “And it persisted and never really got any better.”

The Washington Post has more:

Taylor Gourmet to close all locations by Sunday

The chain’s sudden closure comes after its majority owner, private-equity firm KarpReilly, pulled out of the company, according to two people familiar with the deal. The Connecticut-based firm, which owned 75 percent of Taylor Gourmet, was reported to have invested $5.6 million into the chain in 2015, helping fuel its rapid expansion throughout the Washington area. Representatives for KarpReilly did not respond to multiple requests for comment, and the Taylor Gourmet spokesman said he did not know why the firm had chosen to walk away. The two co-founders own the remaining 25 percent…

The sandwich chain has become something of a local favorite among politicos and Washington insiders. President Barack Obama was a regular at Taylor Gourmet, where he once hosted a roundtable discussion with small-business owners to discuss his administration’s policies. He and Vice President Joe Biden also famously picked up lunch at the chain’s Pennsylvania Street NW location during the 2013 government shutdown, drawing hoards of onlookers. (The chain was offering furloughed federal workers free cookies and 10 percent off their orders.)

These tweets from 2017 will give you an idea of what happened:

It’s a shame they’re closing. It looks like they made great sandwiches:

Featured image via YouTube.