Folk and acoustic music are no longer the only substances flowing freely at Club Passim—the legendary Harvard Square venue has begun serving beer and wine, breaking its dry spell for the first time since its founding in 1958.
Although most knights exist only in fairy tales, Harvard Squares’ Raymond E. Ost, chef and co-owner of Sandrine’s Bistro, was knighted yesterday with the medal of the French Order of the Mérite Agricole.
For Harvard Square eateries, Valentine’s Day indicated that love is blind—even to recessions. Every restaurant contacted reported dining rooms booked solid with celebrating couples ordering as if the housing crisis had never happened. And managers and owners said diners did not scale back, ordering prix fixe menus as well as tipping generously.
With all the local politics and legal hubbub surrounding controversial street artist Shephard Fairey, one thing is certain: he’s made a visual impression throughout Boston.
Two Harvard Square establishments and nine other Cambridge restaurants made Boston Magazine’s first ever list of “The 50 Best Restaurants” in the Boston area last month. Square fixtures Rialto, which serves Italian food in the Charles Hotel, and UpStairs on the Square, which features American cuisine on Winthrop Street, both made the cut at 21 and 28, respectively.
Convenience store and newsstand operator Muckey’s Corp. signed a lease to take over Out of Town News earlier this week, rescuing the iconic Harvard Square kiosk from an uncertain future.
Harvard Square shops and restaurants are staying afloat despite grim prospects for the holiday shopping season nationally. Still, the Square is pushing for ways to bolster business—especially for locally owned, independent shops.
Three solar Wi-Fi-powered devices were installed in Harvard Square last week, with plans to increase this number in the near future. These solar devices, produced by wireless network provider Meraki, were conceived as part of a Ph.D. project at MIT in 2006.
Someone always sounds the death knell for Harvard Square whenever a long-established business closes or a national chain store moves in. We’re certainly no fans of corporate homogenization, but the passing of Harvard Square, as Mark Twain once observed about reports of his death, has been “greatly exaggerated.” A few shop fronts change nearly as often as the fresh faces of each new class of students, but across the generations Harvard Square remains the crossroads of funk and philosophy, of idealism and consumerism, of red brick and green politics.
Retailers rolled out a variety of promotions and discounts with mixed results last Friday in an effort to lure recession-weary consumers into Harvard Square stores, hoping that the unofficial start of the holiday shopping season might boost revenues battered in recent months by a tumbling economy.