Harvard Square Au Bon Pain closing forever on Thursday

The Crimson reports.



Free tagging: 


    yeah whatever

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    Harvard Square is gone. Move in the Orange Julius and let the mall be complete.


    The removal of a multinational chain store that sells overpriced coffee and terrible baked goods is the true sign of the Square's demise.

    You forget that they started here

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    and that back in the day, when top notch baked goods were still few and far between, Au Bon Pain was actually pretty good. It's probably been twenty years since I've been there but I was sad to hear this news. I remember hanging out there with friends in high school, and yes, I admit that I was probably eating a cinnamon chip scone or a greasy ham and cheese croissant, but still...sad to see it go.

    I beg to differ.

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    I enjoy their ham and swiss croissants from time to time (they are tasty), as well as their plain croissants. They did something weird to their spinach and cheese croissants years ago and not for the better. They also have better bagels than DDs.

    Not four star dining but a nice alternative to McDonald's fare.

    I was employee of yhe month in 1986

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    We had to wear beret hats, loved the spinich and cheese croissants and turkey and brie sandwiches and petit pans and hearth rolls, I learned to juggle while making fresh squeezed orange juice in a rather slow machine, and this cute coworker from the Middle East, think pay was $5 per hour

    1986 memories

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    I ate a lot of spinach and cheese croissants in the summer of 1986. Perhaps I bought one from you!

    I'm a 1990 MIT grad, and that

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    I'm a 1990 MIT grad, and that ABP has been there a long time. When I think of "people watching", that's the spot that first comes to mind.


    Fergawdssake! Once again I go away and come back to find they've moved the furniture! Anyone know if they're taking the shaded patio area for their renovation? If not, I would hope Au Bon Pain or something similar will be in that retail space once work is done-- assuming, of course ground-floor retail is still part of the streetscape.

    Oggi is already open in their

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    Oggi is already open in their new space at the southern end of Holyoke Center/Smith Campus Center and Clover is moving into the space where YenChing was at the corner of Mass Ave and Holyoke Street.


    Mikes went in where the wargaming store used to be, across the street and closer to the Pit.

    Mike's is on the other side

    Mike's is on the other side of the street--near the corner closer to the T stop. If I remember correctly, I think Finale closed while Mike's was under construction, and maybe the final straw for them.


    b.good said earlier this week that they are close to securing new space in the square.

    Before Au Bon Pain

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    Harvard Square has changed so much since the "old days", which for me started when I used to hang there in my teens in the late 60s -early 70s (yeah, I know) when the Holyoke Center was new.. Lots and lots of bookstores, "underground newspapers", Zum-Zum, Wursthaus, Bailey's, hippies, anti-war demonstrations, the smell of patchouli, and the beginning of the out in the open marijuana culture.

    This article from the Crimson Archives from 1972 laments how "commercialized" the Square has become. Little did they know.

    Oh, yeah!

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    Hell....I remember Harvard Square as a teenager in the late 1960'x. Even though I grew up and attended a public high school in an idyllic suburb west of Boston, my closest friend and I used to go into Harvard Square pretty much every Saturday, buy what we needed, and marvel at the funky little ethnic stores, restaurants, etc., that Harvard Square had to offer. Often enough we'd meet other kids that we knew from school in Harvard Square, which was cool., also.

    Those days are gone forever.

    Harvard Square Memories

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    "Underground Newspapers" -- The Avatar
    "Underground" comics -- Mr. Natural

    Another paper--

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    The Boston Phoenix. I used to look forward to getting issues of that paper, but when it changed its forum to a magazine form (just afew years ago.), that was its demise. Too bad.

    thanks anon

    Enjoyable article. I miss Iruna, don't miss Young and Yee.

    The Harvard Square theatre has been closed for how many years now, and is still unoccupied. I can remember when it was repertory, going in on a Saturday to see either old Woody Allen or Marx Brothers and hear people laughing while I walked through the lobby.

    No more ice cream parlors. No more movie theaters, except for the Brattle.

    Sherman, warm up the way-back machine.

    Never went there that much,

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    Never went there that much, but I liked Young and Yee. Pretty much the first Chinese food I'd ever had. Loved the beef and tomato stir fry.

    The greatest loss for me is Elsie's. I was a Harvard scholarship student from the South Side of Chicago with *no* money starting in 1971, but somehow occasionally scrounged up the cash for a Turkey Deluxe or Roast Beef Special when eleven o'clock at night rolled around. And saw all the Bogart and Marx Brothers movies for the first time at the Brattle and Central Square theaters (and tons more old movies at the one buck movie nights at the Harvard houses).

    Spent my later years at the Radcliffe Quad, where the goto spots were the Harvard House of Pizza, next to the Montrose Spa on Mass. Ave. (which I think is still there, i.e., the Spa, not HHOP), and Charlie's Beef and Beer, which had an amazing antipasto. I was legal when I got back from Chicago for junior year, which was great in terms of outings to the Fenway Park bleachers (which had an entrance fee of something like 75 cents), the Beanpot at the Garden, etc.


    Oh, I remember Elsie's!

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    That was such a great deli! I went there quite frequently, and the prices were reasonable, and the sandwiches, etc., were.....yum yum yum!

    I miss that place. It was one of the pillars of Harvard Square!

    Such a funny, deadpan article

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    and so smattered with typos and misspellings, but boy, I'd love a time machine day-pass to visit that "commercialized" Harvard Square of 1972 which was before my time but sounds so fun. I'd argue that a lot of the same spirit (and some of the same shops and restaurants) persisted well into the 80s. Alas...

    Go to your local Blockbuster

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    Go to your local Blockbuster Video and rent "Love Story!"

    ...just kidding. Blockbuster Video! Get it?

    But you can see Harvard Square in the 70s by watching Love Story. In a lot of ways, it looks the same (a lot of people milling about, bad traffic, etc.)

    Time marches on. I'm sad to see this Au Bon Pain go. It's been there since I was a kid.

    Every time I watch Good Will Hunting, I'm always taken aback at how many locations they used are gone now. Pretty much anything in the Boston area that wasn't a College or University (Harvard/MIT/Bunker Hill) is gone now. The Tasty? Jack's Joke Shop? Wonderland? The Au Bon Pain in Harvard Square?

    After the loss of the Tasty (to put up a frigging ATM! an ATM!), I've long since gone numb to the changes.


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    You're spot on--add the Bow and Arrow and Baskin Robbins to the Harvard Square scenes...But sorry--I can't sit through Love Story again. :)

    I also miss the Harvard Square Theatre.

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    I still remember when the Harvard Square Theatre, on Church Street, was still a revival movie house. It was a cool place, with a single screen, as well. When it was bought out by Lowes, and the AMC, the place changed. The theatre, though not in use, is still standing, I think. I hope it gets changed back into an arthouse/revival movie theatre. That would be so cool.

    Still, I miss the days when the Harvard Square Theatre was a revival movie house. So many great movies were played there!

    real estate moguls

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    A couple of years ago there was some (see also ) on the real estate investors buying up property in Harvard Square. I wonder how many more buildings they've bought up since then?

    It's funny how places

    It's funny how places establish a reputation as being "institutions" so quickly, since so much of the local population is rotated every four years, and so collective long-term memory only goes back a few years. Most people who've been around would easily consider Panera as a "short-timer", yet its closing was treated like Yenching's 40 years in the Square, or like the Tasty.

    It's simple

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    Any business (chain or otherwise) that was there when you first visited a particular neighborhood is sacrosanct. 2 bonus points if you visited as a child. 1 bonus point if you remember it fondly from college, when you first moved here.

    Any business that moves in more than 2 years after you graduated from college is to be considered "new" and is not worth saving. Doesn't matter how long ago you graduated.

    More than 10 years after you graduated college, all changes to a neighborhood are strictly prohibited. Neighborhoods are static and should never deviate from your fond memories of how things were in the Golden years when you were 18-24.

    The key is that the permissabilaty of change is relative to the number of years since you turned 25. The more years it has been, the less acceptable the change. I

    All places in the Smith (or

    All places in the Smith (or "Holyoke" as many still know it as) Center were going to have to close for the building's construction, so it's not like it's some economic epidemic--this was all known for awhile.

    Oggi has already moved and re-opened in the corner where Finale was (which I guess is now unaffected) and Clover is getting close to re-opening in the old Yenching space. People also freaked-out when Panera coincidentally "closed" down the street, but that is just being re-modeled and re-opened as a Tatte cafe (which Panera owns), so it's not like the location is really going away--more like a rename/remodel/upgrade.

    One big loss from the building was Al's, which was the best sub place around, and a really good deal. b.Good may find another location in the square--there are still various empty locations on the first block of JFK and in the Garage.

    I'll miss Al's and their $8

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    I'll miss Al's and their $8 box lunch deal that was enough food to last two lunches... *tear


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    I'll pour out a cup of ice water for the death of the Harvard Square Au Bon Pain. Too many a kid with too few dollars and too much time in HSQ remembers that as the place to get a free ice water on a hot day. It paired well with $1 rice from Ma Soba (also RIP), which was the go-to if you didn't have an extra 50 cents for fries at Lee's Beehive (RIP).

    Years ago, when I was still

    Years ago, when I was still the BU student on this site, which is still well into the decline seeing the comments here, I thought about why can't Kenmore Sq be more like Harvard Sq. It seems the answer is to make Harvard Sq become Kenmore.

    Bye bye

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    I once made a total fool of myself at this Au Bon Pain. Now that it's closing, I think I can move on with my life.