Upper Crust: New Owner Says Restaurant ‘Will Be Run Better’

It’s new management and new faces for the South End’s Upper Crust, as it reopens under new management after being closed for several months.

The firm UC Acquisitions purchased the property in January along with locations in Wellesley, Watertown and Lexington during an auction after its previous owners filed for bankruptcy last year. The troubled pizza chain’s former owner, Jordan Tobins, was accused of several labor issues including failing to pay employees their wages, allegedly relying on undocumented workers for labor, and using company money for personal use. 

Despite reports from some media outlets that the former owner Tobins was connected to the new ownership, Shawn Shenefield, Director of Operations at UC Acquisitions Shawn Shenefield said Tobins is playing no role in the re-opened chain. 

“From what I can tell there’s no connection,” said Shenefield. “UC Acquisitions manages money for wealthy families, and I think one of the original owners knew him, but there’s no involvement for operations.”

The South End store re-opened for business on March 22nd. Shenefield said that although the South End space has been renovated, the product is mostly unchanged, still relying on fresh ingredients, of which many are locally sourced. 

“It’s a great product, it’s a great brand, and we all believe in that,” he said. “It just needs to be run properly.”

Shenefield said another change at the re-opened pizza chain is to focus more on its employees. 

“We’re going to make sure our employees are well trained and well taken care of,” he said. “We have great employees, and we were lucky enough to have a couple people come back who worked for the previous company.”

Shenefield said this is the ownership group’s first venture into a retail restaurant business, and have been “very involved and interested” in the company’s day-to-day operations. 

“We’re not doing anything fancy – just going back to the basics with a good product, good service, and great employees,” he said. “”The product is going to be great, and the restaurants are going to be run better than they were before.”

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