February 10, 2016

HSQ2 and another surprise


CloverHSQ is going to close.

I’ve known that since April 2015 and haven’t been able to tell folks. I’m sorry. I was sworn to secrecy. It’s been scary, and sad, and scary.

But with death comes life. We’re going to be opening what we’re referring to as “HSQ2.” And it’s very very close to the current location. We’ll be at 1326 Massachusetts Avenue (Holyoke and Mass Ave.). So That’s the corner of Holyoke and Mass Ave. Yeah, about 60 feet from the current restaurant.

In some ways it’s a better location than what we have now. It’s a corner (which is awesome). It’s on Mass Ave. (which is awesome). In other ways we’re going to be really sad to leave the current space. 7 Holyoke was our very first restaurant and we’ve all put a lot of ourselves into that space. So it’s sad to leave behind.

The new space is smaller (about 1500 sq ft vs. 2200 sq ft) and obviously has no mezzanine. But we think you’re going to love what we’re doing with it.

And now time for the other surprise. Our contractor, Justin, started shooting me pictures during demo of stuff they were uncovering. And I can’t tell you how special this is. With any other contractor demo would last 48 hours and we would never have heard anything. Anything there would have been destroyed. But Justin cares a ton about what he does, and about history, and buildings. It’s why we love working with him.

So Justin discovered all of this crazy tile work. And more. And more. There are pennants around the top of the space. And crimson Hs everywhere. We did some research and discovered they date back to 1913. This space was the Waldorf Lunch.

OK, if you haven’t studied Cambridge history that might not mean anything to you. But I’ve read a bunch of books these past few years to better understand where I live and work. And I’ve read many accounts that refer to the Waldorf Lunch. It was an icon.

And after the Waldorf Lunch came the Bickford, precursor to the chain. And “the Bick” was almost as big a deal as the Waldorf. They operated around the clock. Cambridge was most bustling back then, and more blue collar with factories and stuff. And these were places where students, teachers, and workers crossed paths.

No only are we moving into the old Waldorf Lunch, but we might be able to restore this crazy tile work. There’s nothing else like this. It’s amazing. We’ll share more as we clean up the tile etc. But this is like archeology in the city. It’s amazing.

I’m going to try to figure out how to do a Kickstarter to fund restoration. If anybody out there has killer kickstarter video skills and wants to help reach out to me. We’d really love to find a way to save this history.

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