Harvard Named in Pudding Lawsuit

Documents recently obtained by The Crimson indicate that Harvard has been named as a defendant in the lawsuit filed by the restaurant Up Stairs at the Pudding, which is seeking to remain in its current location in the Hasty Pudding building.

The owners of Up Stairs at the Pudding filed suit Sept. 1 asking the court to declare that the restaurant can remain in its present location, says the restaurant's attorney, William I. Cowin.

The suit, which threatens to delay Harvard's plans to take over and renovate the building, names three trustees of the Institute of 1770, which is the current owner of the Hasty Pudding building and the umbrella organization for the Hasty Pudding Theatricals and Social Club.


It also names as defendants David P. Ries '60 and Alexander A. Randall, trustees of the Holyoke Street Nominee Trust. The trust purchased the land on which the Hasty Pudding Building sits for $542,978.10 in 1986 and transferred ownership of the land to Harvard last year.

According to a 1999 deed filed with the court, Harvard is the principal beneficiary of the trust, meaning the trustees act as agents of the University.

The restaurant's owners, Mary Catherine Deibel and Deborah Hughes, have said that their lease expired at the beginning of September, but that they exercised their option to renew the lease. The Institute of 1770 has maintained that the restaurant does not have the right to renew its lease because the restaurant has been in arrears on its rent payments.

The lawsuit does not seek monetary damages from Harvard or the institute.

While the legal wrangling with the Pudding building is just beginning, negotiations between Harvard and the institute about the transfer of ownership have all but come to a halt.

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