Oceanaire closes

The 50 employees at Oceanaire, the seldom-busy seafood behemoth on Washington Square, got the word this morning from corporate:

It's closed.

A corporate spokeswoman said the Minneapolis-based chain -- founded by a guy from Camden, N.J. -- has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and shuttered a few locations.

Oceanaire opened in late 2006 in a soaring-ceilinged, art-deco space in what was a PSFS building on the south side of Walnut between Seventh and Eighth. As I wrote then: "It's easy to see why people liken the decor to that of a cruise ship; it's spacious and plush on two levels, with romantic banquettes and more utilitarian tables."