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Long running Harvard Square burger place up for sale

Boston Restaurant Talk reports that Mr. Bartley's Burger Cottage can be yours for $475,000. The idea is that you'd keep it as is, but, you know, Harvard Square ain't what it used to be.

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Comments

That would be a great space for a CVS. Or maybe a bank branch.

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Starbucks or Dunks

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Clearly only a Cafe Nero will do.

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A Caffe Nero is about to open on Austin Street in Newtonville, literally just steps away from a Starbucks, around the corner from George Howell Coffee and across the Turnpike from, of course, a Dunkin. We'll see how this works out. The nearby Rox Diner has shut down for good. I guess they're counting on the occupants of the two new apartment complexes to fuel the business.

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I'll take a dozen Nero's over a single Capital One cafe/bank.

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After all, there's a CVS two blocks down, where the main T entrance is.

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Your point being... ?

there's a CVS two blocks down

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There must be 4 or 5 people who don't have a cell phone yet

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There was always such a long line of tourists to get in there, specifically on weekends. I never saw what the big deal was about that place.

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I was surprised, the last time I was there, that Hayes Bickford's is still there. If you'd asked me back in the 60s or 70s which of the eateries was going to still be there 50 years later, The Bick would not be on the list. But yeah, pretty much everything else is changed.

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What?

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When on earth was the last time you were in Harvard Square? Not only is the Bick long gone, the Chinese restaurant that was in its place for 40 years (Yenching) has closed as well. Clover Food Lab is in that space now.

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It's possible they are thinking of the Ihop facing the Kennedy School which I always assumed runs strictly on late night students who forgot to eat all day but remembered at 1am.

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The IHOP only opened in 2006, though.

However, speaking of Bickford's - TBH, I had no idea there were any left anywhere!

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and certainly not in Harvard Square. It was already gone when I was a student in the late 1970s. If you still want a Bickford's, go to Burlington or Woburn.

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And they are indeed down to two here.

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Apparently I was having an acid flashback, or something.

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That must have been some bad shit. I mean, Bickford's.

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I stopped by The Tasty the other day for a grilled cheese and it was the same as it ever was. A little tight on the social distancing due to there being something afoot but at least the owner isn’t a crazed MAGA grifter like they have over there at Bartley’s. Plus I could sneak into Varsity Liquors and grab a handful of nips for $3. I was really hankering for some grub at Joyce Chen’s but I’m saving up for a trip out to Charlie’s Pizza in Arlington followed by an ice cream sundae at Chadwick’s and maybe a tilt over at the Hideaway Pub or catch a show at the Kendall Cafe before I head home. It all depends on if they decide to run the Red Line out to Belmont Sq. or not.

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I went with a bunch of friends for a New Year's Eve dinner at Chen's. I ordered Peking duck, and it was a tiny amount of meat surrounding a section of bone about an inch in diameter. This is not what you get in Beijing. Then, when I opened my fortune cookie, it was empty. Never had any urge to eat there again.

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Right across the street from Aku-Aku.

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I wish I could make up my mind, whether to eat lunch at Elsie's or Buddy's Pit.

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I've only been there once or twice, last time was perhaps 12 years ago. The menu was pretty funny, the burgers not bad but overpriced as I recall. If it wasn't a tourist trap and/or if it didn't close so early it would be a good place to eat. (Why wouldn't they stay open to 10 or 11pm?) Reminiscent of the type of place you find in small College towns.

Still, very sad to see them go.

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I didn't like their rounded burgers but that location is being disrespected by that low offer. I know it's been 5 months with no revenue, but please don't settle for less than a million.
Location, Location, Location!

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...is different than selling the real estate.

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They are selling the name and cheap plastic furniture... You still need to pay the insane level of rent and this is a pandemic. I think 500,00 ish is about right if not a little high tbh.

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Plus they have no liquor license or a bathroom. The owners son who is selling it is a world class turd. I’ve never seen someone treat coworkers so poorly.

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I would buy today.

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That restaurant is worth less than zero dollars presuming Harvard Square rents, limited square footage with which to social distance and the RAGING PANDEMIC.

I love Bartley's, but you'd need to pay me 6 figures to take on that lease.

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Harvard Square has seen many changes and many restaurants have been forced out of their locations but just like the Green House fifteen years ago... Sometimes people retire and don't have kids. The owners are getting older and this is going to be a rough year. Whoever buys it can get a bargain now and rebuild when things get better but I think the owner is making a choice that works for them. If they were leaving soon anyway why break your back to adapt? The business is not optimized at all for this... A new person can come in and change the business to make it more Covid19 compliant tho.

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I assume it would be takeout only if it were Covid-19 compliant. The alternative would be to remove 3/4 of the seating (or more).

Will people still be willing to pay a premium for burgers with weird toppings and funny names if they have to eat them at home instead of in a tiny, quirky dining area?

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And the seating at Bartley's puts you much closer to strangers than at a typical restaurant, since they have shared tables.

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Cambridge is a disgrace of its former self, sorry kids!

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How long has it been Mr. Bartley's? When I used to visit my sister when she was living in Cambridge in the early 1970s, it was Mrs.Bartley's Burger Cottage.

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I remember it being Mr. and Mrs. Bartley’s in the early 2000s.

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a bad divorce.

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how about Bartley's / Tommy's Lunch and Elsie's, like a theme park to the old days

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that Elsie's pastrami sub I ate 30 years ago.

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