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Harvard Square Institution ‘The Border Cafe’ Closing Permanently

Harvard Square Institution ‘The Border Cafe’ Closing Permanently

“It had served food for nearly 33 years before spending another dozen months vacant”

The Border Cafe is a Tex/Mex restaurant and one of the best. They had a fire in 2019 but the COVID lock downs was the last straw. This is a huge loss.

The Cambridge Day reports:

Manager confirms: Border Cafe won’t reopen, victim of a fire, though pandemic proved fatal

The Border Cafe in Harvard Square is no longer closed for renovations since a fire broke out Dec. 1, 2019 – now it’s just closed permanently, a restaurant manager said Wednesday.

“We decided not reopen that location,” said a general manager at the small chain’s Burlington location, which had been cold-called in search of a contact for a company headquarters. (There is no such contact, the manager said.)

Denise Jillson, executive director of the Harvard Square Business Association, said she found out late last week about the closing.

Recovering from a fire can take several months for any restaurant; the Border Cafe suffered a two-alarm exhaust system blaze during a Sunday lunchtime rush. But the location never really got a chance to reopen, as the coronavirus lockdown took place a little over three months later. It had served food for nearly 33 years before spending another dozen months vacant, and the Cambridge Office for Tourism still cites the business as renovating.

“We decided at the end of the year” not to reopen, said the manager, declining to give a name but saying they had previously been a manager at the Harvard Square location. The closing was described as “amicable,” with a reference to it being difficult “coming to terms with Harvard.” The manager was not able expand on what that meant. The 5,071-square-foot site has been owned by Harvard University since 1984; the Harvard Global Health Institute has offices upstairs.


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It was culturally appropriative, ethnically insensitive, and insured anyway.
Eat at Mondo’s, Harvard dogs. If you can find it.

    The Friendly Grizzly in reply to henrybowman. | February 16, 2021 at 9:50 pm

    Ethnically insensitive is all the better reason for me to have gone. I am an insensitive white male, so, wny not?

      I feel that someday you and I, as kindred souls, should meet for breakfast soon over some Aunt Jemima’s pancakes with Mrs. Butterworth syrup, Cream of Wheat grits, and Café Yaucono.

I wonder if there will be a protest when renovation contractors build a wall around it.

SuddenlyHappyToBeHere | February 17, 2021 at 12:46 pm

Well, no one is in the Swuare anyway, so …