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Border Cafe in Harvard Square is gone for good

Cambridge Day reports a fire hurt it, and the pandemic killed it.

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Even if I ever get to leave the house, there won't be anywhere left to go

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Voting closed 58

Nooooooooo!

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Voting closed 38

This one really hurts...

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My first professional job was in Harvard Square and Border Cafe was a client. We were very friendly with them and had many events there... And they were so busy we couldn't even pull strings to call in lunch take out orders. They were so busy that their policy was you had to be on-site to order , so if we wanted lunch for the office someone had to go order at the bar and wait and even then you couldn't just stand at the bar as it was packed at 1pm on a Tuesday! So yeah this is a pretty big deal.

All closures are bad because it means someone's dream is ending. It's just especially sad because so many of these Harvard Square ones listed were some of my favorites that I thought had the potential to last for decades and not just some passing fad concept.

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Voting closed 36

The reason for take out was they believe the food does not keep well in take out containers. Has nothing to do with how busy they are.

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Well before they made this choice they used to take faxes (yes faxes) from the office with the info and after they would still take the order from bar. I was told directly by one of the owners that it was due to being too busy.

So unless you are one of the owners...

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Voting closed 16

Burlington and Woburn locations close too??? Used to be a go-to lunch for work

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You might be thinking of “On the Border” chain restaurant which I believe is still open in Woburn.

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thats a different location

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Yes, different chain!!!

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Pretty sure it's Border Cafe. Right on Middlesex Turnpike at Second Ave. On The Border is also not too far away. I went there for lunch too many times to get the name wrong, lol. Great chips

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If you go to their website, the Burlington location is still doing takeout for home reheating. https://bordercafe.com/

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Burlington’s Border Cafe is still in business, at least according to the article. The author interviewed someone working there and that is how they learned the news of the closing.

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One of my go tos , especially when I was first out of college and making no money. You were able to order a warm, delicious meal for very cheap and have enough for leftovers. Bottomless chips and salsa, perfect menu, mouth watering food, festive atmosphere.....this one really hurts. Never had a bad meal or experience there.

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Voting closed 31

My sons could eat there on teen allowance budget and actually be full! They would bike there after school once or twice a month.

We went there for as long as it was open. Even though it is a college watering hole, it somehow managed to also be a great family place, too.

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Voting closed 28

That is why they were one of the most popular places in Harvard Square to eat. Even on the area business website the Border Cafe pulled in more eyes than any other store around on a regular basis.

I agree with your feelings... I had been there for work events but felt comfortable hanging with friends there too and when my parents and family were in town it was one of my mothers favorite places to eat at. The pricing sure helped but there was something about the atmosphere. It felt like anything went , come as you are but everyone came with a certain level of respect.

I do not even know who their target demo was to be honest.

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Had a lot of fun there as a student. That and the Hong Kong.

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i stopped going when they made it a rule that you had to have two people for each scorpion bowl.

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I remember when that happened - it was a "clarification" of what constituted a "pitcher" that made them stop serving singles.

Although they would not necessarily notice if one person was doing all the bowling.

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Voting closed 17

When it had been this long and they hadn't reopened (even in the Before Times) it seemed like the writing was on the wall, and covid was just confirmation. Had many a solid night there as a grad student; truly was one of the best values in the Square.

RIP Border Cafe (and Crema Cafe, and Cafe Algiers, and Cambridge.1, and Just Crust, and Flat Patties, and...)

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Voting closed 23

like mesquite grill briquettes?

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Both during school and afterwards in an ill-fated working experience with infamous Shiva (office was literally next door)...

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I heard this second-hand, but it's too good not to share. Back when this place first opened, some friends of mine were going to the Border after work, and after putting in their name and waiting the requisite amount of time, they were shown to their table, and noticed that the restaurant wasn't actually that busy. They asked why there were still people waiting around on the sidewalk and the host answered "We've got a reputation to uphold."

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Voting closed 15