When one thinks of Harvard Square, familiar images come to mind: the flagship CVS, red bricks, blaring music, the laughter of college students, and, most notably, countless local businesses. In an area primarily serving college students, the rent for local businesses is quite high, meaning every inch of the square must be utilized for small businesses to remain profitable. Within this bustling, commercial zone of Cambridge, however, there lies a hidden gem: A small place for public art.
An attempt to delay the creation of separate bike lanes in Porter Square in Cambridge was quashed following public disapproval. Cambridge City Council members voted against policies in a general meeting April 25 that would delay the “quick build” lanes.
The Porter Square Safety Improvement Project will install two separate bike lanes from Beech Street to Roseland Street as part of its wider efforts to improve bus, biker and pedestrian safety in the area. It would also eliminate metered parking along Massachusetts Avenue in Porter Square.
However, the project has received opposition from city council members.
Speaking at the April 25 meeting, Cambridge City Councilor Paul Toner, along with Councilors Denise Simmons and Dennis Carlone, introduced resolutions that would delay the project so that it can be added to the MassAve4 project — which will see the construction of the bike line from North Cambridge to Harvard Square as one initiative.
Cambridge City Council voted to continue construction of protected bike lanes near Porter Square despite a recent outcry from residents.
The project is in accordance with the 2020 Cycling Safety Ordinance passed by the council which called for 25 miles of protected bike lanes to be constructed in the city, including along Massachusetts Avenue.
According to local activists, these bike lanes will remove parking in that area and impact the local businesses. Activist group Save Mass Ave put together a petition against the bike lanes.
Prospective freshmen clad in Harvard merch and red lanyards swarmed campus this weekend for the College’s first in-person Visitas since 2019.
Current students hosted admitted members of the Class of 2026 for the two-day program, which took place Sunday and Monday. Visitas was held virtually for the Class of 2024 and Class of 2025 due to the pandemic.
Harvard hosted an extracurricular fair, department open houses, library tours, and an international student reception. Prefrosh mingled with current students at various club socials and were able to attend Monday’s classes.
Admitted students who attended this year’s Visitas called the weekend memorable and informative.
A new coffee shop and bookstore that gets its inspiration from a beloved Harvard Square spot that closed two years ago is planning to open in a nearby space this summer.
A poster within the Friends of Boston’s Hidden Restaurants says (via a Cambridge Day article) that Faro Cafe is planning to open on Arrow Street, with owner Henry Hoffstot saying that “We’re trying to create a space where we of course sell coffee, but we also foster conversation and have sort of a Cafe Pamplona-style place where people can go and talk.” Cambridge Day mentions that the upcoming spot plans to have seating for 24 in two rooms along with space for approximately 50 more outside, and that it hopes to offer live music and talks while serving drinks and having a simple food menu that doesn’t require a kitchen. If all goes well, Faro Cafe could be opening in late June or early July.
Cafe Pamplona closed down in the spring of 2020 after being in business for more than 60 years.
The address for the upcoming Faro Cafe in Harvard Square is 5 Arrow Street, Cambridge, MA, 02138.
On a warm day, nothing sounds better than a cold, sweet scoop of ice cream! But with plenty of ice cream shops in Harvard Square, which is the best one to go to? Read on to find out the vibe of each shop and what to expect there.
Ben & Jerry’s: Craving a Classic
Ben & Jerry’s is located at 35 JFK St., and a convenient dessert option right next to Sweetgreen! Although this shop has a reputation for being overrated and overpriced, there’s no doubt it has the most consistent ice cream quality. With a variety of flavors from Americone Dream to Strawberry Cheesecake, there’s surely something for everyone. It is important to note that though the ice cream here is the highest of quality, there’s no indoor seating, so its deliciousness quickly melts away.
Café Pamplona, which closed in May 2020 after six decades in Harvard Square, is inspiring another business around the corner: Faro Café at 5 Arrow St., which owner Henry Hoffstot hopes to have open in late June or early July.
The coffee shop and bookstore revolves around community, climate change and climate justice, Hoffstot told license commissioners Thursday.
Gong Cha — an international bubble tea chain — is set to bubble into Harvard Square in early June.
The store will take over the previous Dado Tea location at 50 Church St., becoming the latest addition to the Square’s boba tea collection, alongside Kung Fu Tea located at 1160 Massachusetts Ave. Boston Tea Stop, another Harvard Square staple that served bubble tea, closed last year.
Founded in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, Gong Cha — which translates to “tribute tea for the emperor” — opened its first overseas location in Korea in 2006. The Gong Cha USA franchise has more than 1,500 locations globally. The chain is known for its signature milk foam.
Although the state of Massachusetts legalized recreational marijuana back in 2016, the city of Cambridge had difficulties choosing its dispensary application procedures.
As a result, it was harder for people to open dispensaries in the city. However, this changed in February when the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission approved Yamba Market’s equity license, making it the first store in Cambridge to obtain one.
Yamba Market (the word yamba is a nickname for cannabis in West Africa) is located at 580 Massachusetts Ave and will open its doors to customers on April 11.
The owners of this black-owned dispensary, Sean Hope and Sieh Samura, hope to educate consumers in a way that removes preconceptions associated with cannabis usage.
here is a battle brewing in Cambridge over the planned removal of dozens of parking spots along Massachusetts Avenue to make room for vertically-separated bike lanes.
The move is part of a city ordinance requiring the installation of 22 miles of separated bike lanes across the entire city, including the entire length of Massachusetts Avenue, within the next five to seven years.
Business owners say it would require the removal of at least 40 to 50 percent of street parking.
Anette Osgood, who manages Guitar Stop, a family-owned business along Mass Ave. north of Harvard Square, said 80 percent of her customers come by car.