EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI-WWLP) – The well-known Massachusetts pizza and sandwich chain Papa Gino’s Inc. has abruptly closed many of its locations, Eyewitness News has learned.

Eyewitness News called and visited several Papa Gino’s and D’Angelo Grilled Sandwiches locations across Southeastern New England after receiving reports from employees and customers who found them closed on Sunday morning.

The Papa Gino’s website shows 97 open locations as of Sunday, down from 144 listed last week. A comparison indicates the company eliminated four of its 10 locations in Rhode Island and 37 of its 115 locations in Massachusetts.

When you pull up to the Papa Gino’s on Reservoir Avenue in Cranston, there is now a sign taped up reading, “This location is now closed. Thank you for your patronage.”

The scene is similar at the D’Angelo location on Highland Avenue in Seekonk.

Calls to the closed locations were greeted by the messages, “Thank you for calling Papa Gino’s; this restaurant is now permanently closed,” and “Thank you for calling D’Angelo; this restaurant is now permanently closed.”

Both messages encourage customers to head to the Dedham-based company’s website to see a list of other locations.

Western Massachusetts D’Angelo and Papa Gino’s locations appear to have been spared the latest round of closures, with the Papa Gino’s locations in Wilbraham, Pittsfield, and North Adams, as well as Mass Pike locations in Ludlow and Lee remaining on their list of open restaurants. D’Angelo locations in Greenfield, Springfield, Holyoke, Chicopee, West Springfield, Westfield, and Northampton, as well as on the Mass Pike in Ludlow and Lee also remain listed on their website.

Just over the state line in Windsor Locks, Connecticut, however, the Papa Gino’s location on Route 75 has shut down, with the company now only maintaining one pizzeria in the state.

There’s no word on how many employees were impacted by Sunday’s closures, nor if the company is working to place them at other shops. The company has not responded to multiple phone and email messages.

Papa Gino’s was founded in 1961 in East Boston as Piece O’Pizza. The name was changed in 1968. The company reported in January that it had nearly 280 company-owned and franchised restaurants, employing more than 4,000 workers.