Doors shut at 10 Upper Crust restaurants, about 140 employees are out of work

Boston Globe | November, 2012

Upper Crust has abruptly closed most of its restaurants, let go about 140 employees, and will shut down permanently unless the gourmet pizza chain gets a cash infusion in the next few days, according to a trustee overseeing the Boston-based company.

At a hearing in US Bankruptcy Court Tuesday, the trustee, Mark G. DeGiacomo, said Upper Crust shut restaurants Monday night because it had just four days of supplies and only $14,000 in cash after company executives paid themselves a month’s salary in advance.

The business, which filed for bankruptcy protection last month, needs $120,000 to keep doors open. If the company can obtain funding within few days, it could avoid a permanent shutdown. So far, Upper Crust has closed 10 of 16 locations.

“We do hope that if an investor comes forward, the stores could re-open,” DeGiacomo said. “As a trustee, my job is to sell the business any way – either sell it open or sell it closed.”

No one answered the phones at Upper Crust locations on Newbury Street in Boston, Hingham, Lexington, and Wellesley. Some restaurants, including those in Boston’s Fenway and South End neighborhoods, are routing orders to locations in Beacon Hill and Brookline, which are operated separately by company founder Jordan Tobins and are not part of the bankruptcy. Four other franchise stores in Newburyport, Plymouth, West Roxbury, and Portsmouth, N.H., remain open as well.

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