The week in business – The Boston Globe



The No Name closes after more than a century

The masses arrived with coolers overflowing with Miller High Lifes and Sam Adams. At the nearby docks, fishermen unloaded their catch and fended off wailing sea gulls. The air smelled of salt and fish. Inside the No Name Restaurant, tons of seafood were broiled and fried and peddled at bargain prices. “This place was a destination,” remembered Pam Roberts, who graduated from Simmons College in 1980 and flocked to the seafood joint each summer after exams. The restaurant on South Boston’s Fish Pier shook some of its rough-and-ready charms over the years, but it remained a hot spot — until last Monday night when the No Name announced that it would be shuttered immediately. Bankruptcy documents show it owed hundreds of thousands of dollars to creditors including the Massachusetts Port Authority, the City of Boston, and several seafood companies. What’s more, the No Name stopped paying property taxes in 2013, and the city of Boston has put a lien on the property. No Name owes the city close to $700,000 in back taxes including interest, according to city records. A lawyer for No Name did not return e-mails seeking comment Tuesday. The restaurant thanked its customers and employees on its Facebook page Monday night and said that, “After over 100 years, we had to make the difficult decision to close the No Name Restaurant.’’ The establishment filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, which provides for the liquidation of property and the distribution of assets to creditors. Staffers learned of their looming unemployment only 24 hours prior, during a management meeting Sunday night. — HANNA KRUEGER AND SHIRLEY LEUNG


Mass. companies with California customers must comply with new data privacy law

California’s new restrictions on the use of personal data of online customers have a long reach — all the way to Massachusetts, where vendors must comply with the nation’s toughest data privacy law. Effective Jan. 1, the California Consumer Privacy Act gives that state’s residents a right to know what information online businesses have collected on them, and to demand that any such data be deleted. Also, California residents can request their personal data not be shared with third parties, such as advertising companies. The law applies to any company with more than $25 million in revenue or that collects personal data on more than 50,000 people and has customers in California. Wayfair, for instance. The Boston-based home furnishings store has updated its privacy policy to include the provisions of the California law.
California law requires companies to post a clear notice on their homepage that reads “Do Not Sell My Personal Information,” so customers know they have a right to opt out. Other local companies have added the “do not sell” link, typically in small type at the bottom of their home pages. Needham travel company TripAdvisor sports a link to a complicated control panel that lets users block various tracking cookies used by advertisers to monitor the customer’s Internet habits. By contrast, the Boston home security products company SimpliSaf
e directs the user to an online form where users can request that their data be deleted or never sold. The Cambridge automotive shopping service links to a simpler form where a customer can simply enter an e-mail address and state that he lives in California. — HIAWATHA BRAY


LimoLiner goes out of business

LimoLiner, a Boston-to-New York bus service that brought some of the amenities of high-end air travel to the highway, abruptly shut down on New Year’s Eve after nearly 17 years in business. “Regrettably, LimoLiner has reached the end of the line,” the Stoughton-based company wrote in a Facebook post, citing “financial reasons” and thanking “our loyal customers and our dedicated staff.” Founded in 2003, LimoLiner had attracted a devoted following of customers who valued its luxury touches and reasonable prices. The company offered free movies, spacious leather seats, and fresh meals served by onboard attendants — typically for one-way prices below $100. LimoLiner, which had eight buses and 25 employees, ran multiple daily trips to Midtown Manhattan from the Back Bay and Framingham. In an interview, company president Mark Richardson said the company was in the process of filing for bankruptcy protection amid rising expenses for insurance, maintenance, and labor. After recent discussions with potential buyers fell through, the company had no other choice, Richardson said. “It was our last resort,” he said of the shutdown. “Coming into the new year with our slow season, we just felt we were no longer able to continue operating.” He said competition had been dragging on ridership, with other bus companies hitting the market as airlines and Amtrak lowered prices for Boston-New York travel. Richardson said the company is reaching out to people who had purchased advance tickets before the shutdown, and that company lawyers will get in touch with them to discuss refunds. — ANDY ROSEN


Top gaming executive to leave state commission

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission is in the market for a new top staffer. Ed Bedrosian, who has been the commission’s executive director since 2015, is leaving next week for a job in the private sector. Bedrosian is returning to Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP, the international law firm where he worked before joining the commission, which regulates the state’s casinos. As a partner in the firm’s new Boston office, Bedrosian will work on issues related to sports betting. “I came into this position with the goal of getting the commission up and running and opening casinos. I feel I have accomplished that, and it’s time to move on,” he said in an interview. “It’s an exciting time for new technologies and new opportunities in the gaming world as sports betting takes hold in different states.” Though gaming commission members make the major decisions regarding the gambling industry in Massachusetts, the 90-person staff — overseen by Bedrosian — plays a huge role in shaping policy. Staffers gather the information that forms the basis for many of those big decisions. They also enforce state gaming law by vetting staffers, reviewing technology, and investigating allegations of wrongdoing. Bedrosian, who had been a key aide to Martha Coakley when she was the state’s attorney general, joined the commission not long after the opening of the Plainridge Park slots casino in Plainville. During his four-year tenure, a lot has happened in the Massachusetts gaming business. Since 2018 alone, the state’s first two full-service casinos have opened in Everett and Springfield, massively expanding the young industry here. The runup to the opening last year of Encore Boston Harbor was particularly dramatic for Bedrosian’s staff. Commission investigators carried out a lengthy investigation into sexual misconduct allegations against Steve Wynn, founder of the casino’s parent company — placing a cloud over Encore’s prospects even as the $2.6 billion facility entered the final phases of construction. The commission ultimately allowed Wynn Resorts to keep its license, but hit the company with a $35 million fine. Steve Wynn, who resigned in February 2018, denies that he did anything wrong. — ANDY ROSEN

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