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Universal Hub: Cambridge man faces criminal charges for allegedly fake petition against a wine bar

UpperWest Update!

Dear UpperWest friends & supporters:

To all of our fantastic friends and supporters, we want to provide you with a long awaited update on the status of UpperWest, a small locally owned restaurant that we are working on opening in the Harvard Square area of Cambridge, MA. We also want to thank you so much for the incredible outpouring of support that we received during our efforts to get food and liquor licenses at 1001 Mass. Ave.

As you know, the concept of UpperWest is a European style restaurant with a coffee bar theme during the daytime, and a wine bar theme in the evenings. The menu highlights artisanal charcuterie and cheese, in addition to small plates of hand made pastas, braised meats, and much more. We have a strong community focus, with the hope of offering the neighborhood lots of fun food and drink events, in addition to social and networking opportunities.

Read More

Cambridge Day: Cambridge Lost Wine Bar Before it Opened, and Entrepreneurs Should Be Asking Why

Sad News

We are very sorry to report that our efforts to obtain a Liquor and Food Licenses were not successful.

As all of our supporters know, we have had nothing but an outpouring of support from the Cambridge neighborhood, local businesses and the local food community.

This is why it was a shock to us to see one person at the hearings in opposition to our applications - our neighbor in the building next door. Steven Kapsalis is a resident in that building where he also owns a Liquor Store and a Bar called "The Cellar" in the basement. Unfortunately, he brought a team of people with him, including two lawyers, and what appeared to be a friend and a family member, to attempt to block our applications. He also, along with his crew,  chose to provide the Commission with false and misleading information to attempt to challenge our character and reputation.

In all fairness, we would like to point out that the owner of the restaurant upstairs from Steve's Bar called Garden at the Cellar, Chef Brandon Arms, did fully support our efforts, and even signed our Petition in Support of our applications. Chef Arms did not attend the hearings.

Although we have great respect for all of our neighboring businesses, and we certainly understand the inclination to protect yourself from competition, we do not believe that these tactics are appropriate or respectable. We also strongly believe that bringing another restaurant into our building at 1001 Mass Ave, which has been mostly empty for a long time and bringing down the neighborhood, can only make the other businesses nearby stronger by making it more of a destination. It is unfortunate that Mr. Kapsalis does not see the logic in this and found it necessary to attack us with no basis.

To make matters worse, the Cambridge License Commission appeared to not only permit Mr. Kapsalis' behavior, but actually endorsed it by agreeing with and re-stating a number of the questionable arguments presented by him and his attorneys.

We are very sad about this outcome, after having dedicated so many months to this location. We have not yet decided what our next step will be, but we will keep you updated.