Boston Globe

After a century, Brattle Square Florist to close its doors

Rising costs, labor shortage, uncertainty of the pandemic all contributed to decision to wind down 104-year-old floral shop

A mainstay of Harvard Square is shutting its doors, another casualty of the COVID-19 pandemic and its wide-ranging disruptions.

Randy Ricker, owner of Brattle Square Florist, e-mailed customers Monday to notify them that the 104-year-old flower shop will close at the end of January. Rising costs and limited availability of flowers and materials, as well as a widespread labor shortage and deteriorating real estate, contributed to the decision, Ricker said, as did the personal toll of running a small business on a daily basis over the last nine years, especially the last two.


OBERON, a theater haven for the local and the fringe, closes its doors

Back in 2009, Robyn Giragosian was in need of a place in Boston to perform her burlesque act. Onstage, she was Femme Brulée, and her routines usually involved an elaborate costume of her own making, which she then stripped off, piece by piece. Once, she performed a strip tease to Britney Spears’ “Piece of Me” in a pizza costume. (“A Pizza Me” – get it?) Another time, she did a number dressed up as a lobster, wearing a shiny red corset and tap dancing while she whipped off her fake appendages.

Giragosian was part of a group of performers who liked to do wacky, high-concept shows. The venues around town didn’t quite cut it. “We were performing at the YMCA in Central Square,” she says.

Boston Globe

Wusong Road softly opens in Harvard Square

Soft openings: Harvard Square’s Wusong Road (112 Mt. Auburn St.) is quietly open in the old Les Sablons space, with 50 seats and a limited dinner menu Tuesday through Saturday. On the first floor, a Hong Kong-style deli with barbecue rice plates will debut during the second week of January. In the meantime, head upstairs to try American-style Chinese food (summer rolls, Peking ravioli, chicken fingers) and tiki drinks.


Amid a pandemic and a flood, Bob Slate Stationer endures as a reader favorite

“Gorgeous stationery, unrivaled pen collection, knowledgeable staff. What’s not to love?”

Bob Slate Stationer is no stranger to weathering tough storms. The long-standing stationary store has been serving the people of Greater Boston’s stationary needs since 1930 and in that time has survived everything from the Great Depression to its most recent battles — the ongoing pandemic and a building flood that threatened to shut the store down just as it was ready to get back on its feet. 

At the Harvard Square store, you’ll find stationery, fountain pens, crafting or gifting materials, calendars, and more. Despite the challenges they’ve faced since the pandemic, owner Laura Donohue said they owe their success to their dedicated community. 

The Boston Globe

By George, the Comedy Studio is coming back to Harvard Square

CAMBRIDGE — The Comedy Studio is coming home. That’s how it feels to club owner Rick Jenkins after signing a lease for a new space in Harvard Square at the former Curious George store that will allow the Studio to open a new chapter in its 25-year history sometime in the fall of 2022.

Jenkins originally founded the club in an attic space above the Hong Kong Restaurant in 1996 and left in 2017 to open a new space in Somerville at Bow Market in 2018. When the pandemic closed down live entertainment in 2020, it cast doubt on the Studio’s future in Somerville.

Harvard Crimson

Dominican Restaurant Las Palmas Opens in Harvard Square

Family-owned Dominican restaurant Las Palmas Restaurant & Catering celebrated the opening of its third location two weeks ago, joining Blackbird Doughnuts and Sally’s Sandwiches in the Smith Campus Center’s remodeled arcade.

Its menu includes a variety of empanadas, customizable rice bowls, and tropical juices, as well as Dominican desserts like tres leches cake and caramel flan.