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Oil delivery mishap forces closure of Belmont restaurant after 35 years

The cafe first shut down in January when a delivery driver mistakenly dumped 75 gallons of oil in the basement.

A Belmont breakfast and lunch spot, open for more than three decades and known for its Armenian food, has permanently closed after a delivery driver mistakenly dumped gallons of oil in the basement earlier this year.

Aram’s Cafe on Trapelo Road first shut down in January when a Cubby Oil & Energy driver entered the wrong address into his GPS and ended up pumping approximately 75 gallons of heating oil into the restaurant’s basement, Wicked Local reported.

Despite Charlie Uglietto, owner of Cubby Oil, admitting the mistake and vowing to help out the cafe, the incident devastated the Belmont business. The spill destroyed roughly $60,000 worth of merchandise, not including the walk-in refrigerator, Aram Postaljian told Wicked Local.

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Last week, the owner took to Facebook to announce that the restaurant would shutter for good.

“To our loyal customers, from the bottom of our hearts, thank you,” the Facebook post read. “Thank you for your loyalty, for the friendships, for the laughs, and all the amazing memories.

“This was not how we expected our story to end,” the post continued. “But nevertheless, we are so grateful for every single day of the last 35 years for the opportunity to serve you and this wonderful community. May you always remember Aram’s with happy memories and full stomachs.”

Signs were also posted on the cafe’s windows. One read: “It’s time to say goodbye. Thank you to all our loyal customers for your support over the last 35 years. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts!”

Another read: “Thank you Cubby Oil Co. for destroying my 35 years of hard work in 3 mins.”

Uglietto told Boston.com on Wednesday he couldn’t speak to why Postaljian decided to close the cafe for good, but he said he takes full responsibility for what happened with the oil spill. 

“One of my drivers was at the wrong location,” Uglietto said. “He was supposed to be next door and he found a fill and vent coming out of the side of the building under Aram’s restaurant and started to pump oil into that fill and vent.”

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Cubby Oil notified its insurance company and the state Department of Environmental Protection since more than 10 gallons were spilled. 

“That’s certainly on my driver and ultimately, on me,” Uglietto said. “That was a mistake that shouldn’t have been made.”

Uglietto said the reason why the cleanup is taking some time is that his company has to go through various officials before actually beginning the cleanup. 

He said Cubby Oil had a licensed site professional assess the damage prior to remediation. Since the spill is up against a foundation, the company had to apply for a building permit to underpin the foundation to avoid any structural damage to the building, he said. 

The paperwork for that building permit has been completed and sent to the Town of Belmont for approval, according to Uglietto.

“In a perfect world, if you remove a tank, code says you remove the pipes coming out,” Uglietto said. “That being said, we are not supposed to be at the wrong address. Occasionally, it happens. For us, it hasn’t happened in 30 or 40 years.”

The oil company owner said he feels bad for Postaljian and how the mistake has impacted cafe owner’s ability to run a business. 

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“Certainly, we intend to make sure Aram is reimbursed for his lost revenue and for any damage that we’ve done with the oil being on the floor,” Uglietto said. 

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