Firm with Ties to Ousted Original Upper Crust Pizzeria Owner Wins Bid for Wellesley Store
Wednesday's bankruptcy auction was only of store leases and equipment, not of the Upper Crust franchise rights.
When Wednesday's auction of the embattled Upper Crust Pizzeria chain was done yesterday, and the smoke (somewhat) cleared, a company with ties to the pizzeria's founder, Jordan Tobins, reportedly had won control of the Wellesley store site.
The Boston Globe reports that a Ditmars Ltd. affiliate— a private equity firm connected to Tobins — submitted the high bid of $110,000 for the Central Street location.
That offer, says the Globe report, is only for the store lease and restaurant equipment, not rights to use the Upper Crust name.
The same company also won bids for the Lexington, Watertown and South End store sites.
The attorney representing immigrant workers said to have cheated of vast amounts of overtime pay won the bid for the Harvard Square location, where Shannon Liss-Riordan reportedly has said she will give workers ownership shares in the business.
Yesterday's auction was the bankruptcy court dismantling the troubled company. Ten of the stores were shuttered last month after the company ran short of money after executives reportedly paid themselves a month's salary in advance. According to the Globe:
Upper Crust said in court records it owes at least $3.4 million, and the US Department of Labor filed a claim that the company owes workers $850,000 in back wages and damages.
The rest of the company's stores were sold off to other parties.