Upper Crust Pizzeria Locations Head to Auction
A local group of pizzerias that abruptly shut down last month will be going to auction tomorrow, and the folks who will be bidding on it include some of its workers and possibly its founder.
The Boston Globe is reporting that "more than 60 parties" may be bidding for Upper Crust Pizzeria, including former Upper Crust managers and an attorney who is representing former workers in a class-action lawsuit. The article also mentions that Upper Crust founder Jordan Tobins, who continues to run the Brookline and Beacon Hill locations of the pizzeria (which both remain open), is apparently involved with a private equity firm to make a bid for several of the shops as well. The auction, which takes place at an undisclosed spot in Boston, will allow offers for leases on individual shops, multiple locations, and the entire business.
A total of 10 locations of Upper Crust closed in the middle of November after basically running out of money. The pizza chain had filed for bankruptcy in October after a troubled run that included issues with overtime pay and federal investigations.
[December 20 update: The Boston Business Journal gives the following breakdown of the results of the auction: Tobins and a private equity firm bought four locations of Upper Crust (South End, Lexington, Watertown, Wellesley); a group of former employees purchased the Harvard Square shop; Boston Restaurant Associates (owner of the Pizzeria Regina chain) bought the Fenway location; the Financial District shop was sold to the owners of the building, as was the case with a location in Washington, DC; and a franchisee in Plymouth bought the Hingham location. In addition, The Boston Globe mentions that a worker for a real estate and hospitality investment firm purchased the Newbury Street shop.]
Upper Crust Closes Most Locations; Future of Stores Unclear