There's a striking difference between the logo of The Upper Crust pizzeria and that of its replacement on Brattle Street, The Just Crust. While The Upper Crust sign depicted the elite image of a butler figure carrying pizza, the door now features the emblem of a worker triumphantly holding up the sign for The Just Crust.
The graphic, designed by a former Upper Crust employee, exemplifies the new atmosphere of the partially worker-owned Just Crust. Adorning the pizzeria's walls are framed articles from The Boston Globe and The Harvard Crimson detailing the legal scandal that led to the fall of The Upper Crust and the rise of The Just Crust.
Patrick Joyce, a previous Operations Manager with The Upper Crust and current partner at The Just Crust, said, "We want to create a totally different environment here to have sustainable and local food, but also to have a sustainable work environment" in which the employees comprise an integral part of "the team."
Although "Coming Soon" signs still line the windows of the The Just Crust, the pizzeria opened its doors on Thursday night for an intimate "student kick-off party" to thank the Harvard student organizations, predominantly from the Law School, that have supported the restaurant venture and joined in an "anti-boycott," promising to use The Just Crust for all their pizza needs.
"It's a wonderful thing to see so many people come together to support this concept," said Shannon E. Liss-Riordan '90, the lawyer who represented the Upper Crust employees and helped open the new Just Crust. "It has taken a lot of work from a lot of people, and a lot of people really believe in this vision."
Among the crowd was Daniel Brasil Becker, whose friends at HLS were involved in The Upper Crust boycott in 2011.
"It's such as beautiful thing to see workers who were denied their rights find a way to actually be part of a team, based on an ownership model," he said.
Liss-Riordan said she hopes The Just Crust will open in a few weeks.