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Lawyer For Upper Crust Workers Loses Bid to Buy South End Location

A judge reportedly rejected efforts to keep a firm connected to former Upper Crust workers from returning to the bankrupt pizzeria's storefront.

Weeks after an auction of assets belonging to the now-bankrupt The Upper Crust, an attorney representing former workers at the pizzeria chain reportedly failed in an effort to buy four of the chain's locations, including the now-closed location on Tremont Street in the South End.

Lawyer Shannon Liss-Riordan had offered to pay $200,000 more than the offer sale price that had been accepted at auction last month for the Watertown, Wellesley, Lexington locations, and made a deal with the second-highest bidder for the South End location to increase his bid to $295k bid for the South End location.

"We were the second highest bidder at the live auction, therefore we would get the location if the winner was disqualified," said Patrick Benzie in an email Monday. "We agreed to increase our bid too, as part of Riordan's later proposal."

But according to the Boston Globe, bankruptcy Judge Henry Boroff said it was too late for the lawyer's offer since all of Upper Crust’s assets were auctioned on Dec. 19. A bid for those assets came from a firm with ties to the former owners of The Upper Crust. 

"Although Liss-Riordan's bid was rejected, there was still a possibility that the judge would throw out the winning bids because of the relationship between winning bidder and the former owner of the chain," said Benzie.

However, as of a Monday morning hearing, a judge ruled against the appeal to disqualify winning bidder, according to Benzie, effectively squashing any hope from other investors and former employees to gain control of the chain locations. 

The Upper Crust in the South End is currently closed. 

JJ January 07, 2013 at 11:09 PM
I have a feeling the former owners are shady characters.I would never go to that place again if it opens with anyone tied to the former owners.
Pizza Fan January 08, 2013 at 06:58 PM
It's too bad that the lawyer, Shannon, and the fact that she has been colluding with former owners Josh Huggrd and Brendan Higgins has gone unmentioned.The lawyer was reprimanded by the federal judge for violating the Rules of Professional Conduct (rule 1.8). Josh Huggard and Brendan Higgins caused the company to collapse, and in an effort to shift blame, have tried to put the problems on their former partner and founder, Jordan Tobins. Funny how Huggard and Higgins' names have been left out of the articles... Maybe that's because they are under investigation for fraud and gross incompetence? Regardless, I am thrilled that the South End location will reopen as I just care about good food, and they definitely make the best pizza.
Pizza Fan January 08, 2013 at 07:02 PM
Is it illegal for a lawyer to collude with a reporter? I have been amazed that there have been so many Globe articles written... Well that's because the reporter, Jenn Abelson and the lawyer, Shannon Liss Riordan are friends.... I want a friend like that.. Someone I can call and who will print whatever I say'
Kyle Robidoux January 08, 2013 at 08:53 PM
I'm w/ JJ on this-I don't plan to eat there as long as the SE store is affiliated with Tobins. Plenty of other good pizza shops in the n'hood who treat their employees (and in extension the community) fairly and respectfully.

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