February 10, 2016

HSQ2 and another surprise

IMG_3511

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.

Recent Posts

May 14, 2024
About a year and a half ago, at an open-to-the-public food development meeting at Clover, we blind taste-tested a new plant-based pulled pork. This wasn’t a totally new thing for us to do—as a company with a climate mission, we tend to get a lot of samples of plant-based everything, and we love trying all of them. We’ve tried mycelium-based mushroom meats, wheat-and-soy nuggets, and burgers made from kelp. One bite in, and it was clear this pulled pork was special.
May 8, 2024
Squeaky paneer, mint cilantro chutney, chaat, and our first-ever collab with a local chef. Remember when Pushpir came into the kitchen and schooled us on Northern Indian food? That was 2013. A different CloverHSQ than the one you visit today (back then we were at 7 Holyoke St, across the street from where Kevin and his team now serve you). I still remember the smell of the cilantro, mint, jalapeños, and orange juice Pushpir was blending in the Vitamix. We hadn’t smelled that exact combo before…
April 16, 2024
This week has been a flurry of preparations as we kick off the 2024 food truck season. We did an event at Tufts over the weekend, in a few days we’ll be selling breakfast and lunch at a conference at the Media Lab at MIT, and this weekend we’ll be pulling up to a private party with sandwiches and appetizers.
March 27, 2024
Every year, just after Valentine’s Day, we start getting the same question in from customers: Will there be a Passover Box this year? Sometimes the pleas are more direct, sometimes more colorful. The glories of the vegetarian Chopped Liver are a common theme. This year, Sarah, an NYC-based friend of mine said she’s spent so much time thinking about the emails describing last year’s box that she’s DRIVING UP TO BOSTON to claim one!
February 15, 2024
We have a new sandwich out everywhere today. It’s a take on a Buffalo Chicken sandwich. We use celery root, aka celeriac, this nobbly, gnarled joy of a winter vegetable. We cut it into planks, batter it with panko, and fry it. We’re getting ours from Norwich Meadows Farm, a farm in NY state that’s known for creating really flavorful organic veggies using a cool irrigation system. 
February 7, 2024
For the week of Valentine’s Day, we’ll be delivering these Making Whoopie (Pie) Kits 😉. They have everything you need to make whoopie pies — more specifically, Chris’ favorite oatmeal cakes with beet buttercream frosting. You’ll also get a scoop for making the perfect size pie, and a roll of sugar cookie dough for more sweet fun.
January 18, 2024
Pull out your plaid and cue up the bagpipes because it’s Clover’s third-ever celebration of Burns Night, an introduction to Scottish food/drink/music/poetry and a reason to raise a glass during this dark and cold month! You may be asking yourself, what is Burns Night?
January 17, 2024
Chances are you’ve tried the new Clover Bowls. We’ve been running them since the Spring. After a few tweaks, we landed on a roster we love: the Mediterranean Bowl, the Verde Rice and Bean Bowl, and a Rotating Seasonal Bowl. The bowls have transformed our menu – Josh, a Kendall customer, recently wrote to us, “The beet poke bowl is the best new item I’ve tried at Clover in years. I love the freshness and bite of the mix of flavors.” We’ve also heard some very good suggestions about how to make them even better…
January 3, 2024
Meet the Veggie Monster Meal Box! Some of you are subscribers to our Friday newsletter about plant-based cooking. Now… that newsletter has spawned a meal box! Pack your fridge with everything you need to make an entire week of vegetable-based meals. Think hearty pot pies; sweet and spicy maple-roasted squash tacos; bowls packed with…
December 20, 2023
New Year’s Eve is no time to be buried in the kitchen, so we pack our NYE Box with Clover fan favorites that come together fast and encourage a night of Finger-Food Feasting. Can you think of anything better than digging into bubbling hot Brussels Sprout Cheese dip on a freezing cold Boston night? Or scooping up our bright nutty Romesco sauce as the clock ticks to midnight?  And our breakthrough Carrot Lox (probably the best thing to come out of our food dev in 2023) will have you resolving to spare more salmon in the year ahead.
December 19, 2023
Stop by Clover today (Tuesday 12/19) and when you order a Brussels Sandwich on the app, we’ll give you $1 off our new chocolate chip cookie! It’s a gift from King Brussels, on his final day in the Clover Kingdom. Use this link to get yours!
December 16, 2023
Are you looking for the perfect gift for a friend who loves Clover? We have online gift cards! You can specify a time that you’d like the card to hit their inbox – and there’s a new feature that lets multiple people pool money to send a card to one person. Pretty cool!