On December 9, Boston.com published the exchange of emails between Harvard Business School Professor Ben Edelman and Sichuan Garden, a restaurant in Brookline. The Internet reacted. On Wednesday afternoon, Edelman released a brief statement apologizing for his actions .
Just before that apology was released, Boston.com received a tip from a “former manager” of a “Back Bay sushi restaurant,” who stated that he had read the Edelman email exchange published on this site, and that when “it sounded familiar” he realized he had seen a similar email exchange several years prior.
The restaurant manager declined to give his name or the name of the restaurant, but described both emails and phone calls with Ben Edelman over a dispute related to the use of a Groupon promotion.
We were then sent copies of several emails exchanged in August 2010 between Ben Edelman and Osushi Restaurant management.
Boston.com confirmed the authenticity of these emails with Tim Panagopoulos, one of three partners who owned and operated Osushi, which has since closed.
In 2002, Osushi opened in the lobby of The Westin Hotel in Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood, where it remained until closing its doors in the fall of 2013.
“It’s not cool for someone to use the Harvard name to intimidate any small business—even if the small business got one small thing wrong. There are very easy ways to handle things as a customer that don’t involve threats,” said Panagopoulos.
Edelman did not immediately return a call seeking comment.