Socially just pizza no longer available in Harvard Square

Philip Greenspun's Weblog 2018-05-26

Surveying our pizza delivery options on a recent miserable day, we found that the Just Crust had closed. “Just Crust Pizzeria Set to Close” (Harvard Crimson) explains:

Citing rising rents, Harvard Square pizzeria The Just Crust will officially close…

“With the high rent in Harvard Square that would be going up higher, we decided not to renew the lease and closed the location,” Liss-Riordan wrote. “We have enjoyed operating The Just Crust and greatly appreciate all the support the Cambridge community has given us over these past four years.”

Other local businesses have faced similar problems with high rents—assessed property values in Harvard Square have nearly doubled over the last five years.

Liss-Riordan, who is also a graduate of Harvard Law School, decided to open The Just Crust after she represented employees of the restaurant’s predecessor, Upper Crust Pizzeria, in a labor abuse case.

The Just Crust was partially employee-owned, which Liss-Riordan said at the time was a change she wanted to make after being involved in Upper Crust’s legal battle. Her new restaurant’s name and logo—of an aproned worker—stood in “poetic juxtaposition” to the Upper Crust’s logo of a “dandy man in a top hat riding a bicycle,” according to The Just Crust’s website. The Just Crust also emphasized its “

“With the high rent in Harvard Square that would be going up higher, we decided not to renew the lease and closed the location,” Liss-Riordan wrote. “We have enjoyed operating The Just Crust and greatly appreciate all the support the Cambridge community has given us over these past four years.”

Other local businesses have faced similar problems with high rents—assessed property values in Harvard Square have nearly doubled over the last five years.

Liss-Riordan, who is also a graduate of Harvard Law School, decided to open The Just Crust after she represented employees of the restaurant’s predecessor, Upper Crust Pizzeria, in a labor abuse case.

The Just Crust was partially employee-owned, which Liss-Riordan said at the time was a change she wanted to make after being involved in Upper Crust’s legal battle. Her new restaurant’s name and logo—of an aproned worker—stood in “poetic juxtaposition” to the Upper Crust’s logo of a “dandy man in a top hat riding a bicycle,” according to The Just Crust’s website. The Just Crust also emphasized its “progressive business model” where employees received shares of the profits and ingredients were sourced from regional farmers and producers.

Is pizza-with-delivery no longer a viable business in expensive cities such as Boston/Cambridge? We still have a Domino’s, but the rest of the bunch seems to have outsourced delivery to grubhub and similar (not sure that can work given that they don’t have the fancy insulated bags of a Domino’s).

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