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Farewell to Harvard Square's Garage

Soon to be closed Mall - The Garage in Harvard Square - TWE 0356

The Wicked Explorers take one last walk through the former Harvard Square mall, being remade into a new mall.

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Comments

$2.50 for 2 slices in high school at Cafe Aventura and it was good.

Stained glass of Bobby Orr in the former John Harvard's Brew House and whatever it was before that.

The war amongst the people who thought they were smarter than everyone else when Coffee Connection became Starbucks.

Newbury Comics being in the front of the second floor and not in the back.

A friend who kept a dime in one penny loafer and a T token in the other in case she was out of money and needed to get home or make a call.

Things change.

At least it is not becoming another bank.

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Voting closed 61

Not that Harvard square is already dead to me after tealuxe and Border left…

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I adored Tealuxe. I worked above them for seven years and every morning I'd stop in. The staff was amazing, the patrons we're fun. The decor was cool but subtle. I miss them so much!

When I ran for city council in Chelsea and won I had my celebrations back home but on my first day back at my day job the baristas changed the name of the iced tea of the day to Councillor Frank's Golden Monkey tea and gave me the little card they made for it after. It's the only time anything ever has been named for me like that and they were so excited for me to see it when I wandered in like it was any other day. Being in Cambridge I wasn't expecting it and it made my eyes well up a bit. From what I saw it wasn't an isolated incident but it was organic from the staff at that location, they just were so amazingly nice. That is the day I think of whenever I think about them... I also tend to think about it when I'm at other coffee shops and they don't know how to brew tea lol

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Voting closed 43

Reading this comment brought back so many memories. When I opened Tealuxe it was a dream… it was a success but my unfortunate selection of financial partners to assist in expansion killed my involvement.
I miss the old Harvard Square and I also miss Tealuxe.
Thanks for the memory jolt.

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Voting closed 15

The fact that there could have been MORE but things fell through makes me even more sad. Thank you for creating a magical space for the time it was open... in many ways it was my oasis in a sea of chaos. I just loved that globe you had on that second floor anex, all the bronze and the apothecary drawers.

My one other Tealuxe moment was when I was in Providence. I did not know there was a location down there but I was visiting a friend and we were walking up and down the bills of that great city and I was so exhausted. It was hot, I was cranky, I felt like I was in a movie stuck in the Saharah but then as we crested the hill I thought I saw a Tealuxe sign. I was like, no no no, Im losing my mind , my mind was going to my happy place lol. Turns out you had a huge location there and I remember stumbling in and the iced black for the day was Golden Monkey and there was a large seating area. I remember turning to my friend and telling him I dont care what we have for lunch but we are staying here for a half hour so I can recharge in my unexpected happy place haha.

If you do end up opening again in the future Im going to be first in line. Its just not the same anyplace else.

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Voting closed 5

Tealuxe was a gift! Once Coffee Connection was gone it was the only place to get loose and specialty teas. And the Newbury location- ooh! What I would give for that tea salad dressing recipe! Thanks for giving me a place to relax for a bit. Cheers.

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When I was in college back in the 1970s, a favorite date night was to go to Harvard Square and grab some dinner, go to Passim's or a movie, then end the night at Wordsworth happily browsing the aisles.

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Voting closed 42

But since I only had pizza there a handful of times since Bill Clinton became President, perhaps it is nostalgia only.

Oddly, my recent trips have consisted of going to Tasty Burger at the end of the block (or in the mall itself?) So close, yet far away.

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Voting closed 6

I worked at Cafe Aventura in the mid 80's during high school. A great job with fantastic owners (Kenny & Donna Grasso) of an EXCELLENT pizza and sub restaurant. It was inexpensive and the ingredients were ALWAYS fresh! They cared about the place and the one of the best parts of working there was the grandmother, Gammy :) Absolutely loved her! I will forever appreciate the opportunity I had working there and how well they treated me. I have always missed that place and my memories of the working in the garage of Harvard Sq.

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...bought used hi-fi equipment there

one of the last places to feel Boston's funkiness that is being replaced so fast and completely.
Remember: Flyrabbit? The Rat? Great Scott? Kenmore Army-Navy?

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Voting closed 33

Kenmore Army Navy moved to DTX.

Still has the same vibe as the old location.

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Voting closed 22

Went in there once to browse. Was taken aback when I was told they didn't sell used tape decks because "they weren't reliable enough to sell." Walked out to the store and never went back.

Of course, back in the day, Audio Replay on Bow Street was the place in Harvard Square to go for used stereo equipment and repairs.

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Voting closed 7

If you're talking about Audio Lab, you can see in the video that they're still there on the top floor. That was the first place I ever saw CDs (in their jewel boxes), ca. 1983, which was a genuine WTF moment.

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Voting closed 14

Very few will remember, but the Garage was the location of the very short-lived Cambridge Performance Center. I think it lasted all of one year in 1974. Patti Smith did one of her very first Boston performances there. Badfinger, of all bands, played there. Waylon Jennings played there when he was unheard of north of the Mason-Dixon Line.

Aside from that,the Garage in it's heyday was a unique shopping and dining experience and I will miss it. Last time I went there it was shadowy and depressing. The escalator wasn't working. Pretty much everything save for Newbury Comics and a tattoo place was closed, and even Newbury Comics is a shell of it's former self and caters to tourists.

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ManRay or rolling the dice at Hi-Fi AFTER.

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...home of truly terrible drunk food.

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Hi-Fi Pizza was fine if you just ordered a slice of whatever was fresh out of the oven.

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Voting closed 7

Another bit of my childhood soon to be gone.

I went through the Square back in February to have brunch with a friend one last time before moving south. So little remains from my days hanging out there in the 70s and 80s. I know things change, but it seems there has been a determined effort to scrub the area of any sense of personality. Same thing has happened with Faneuil Hall and the surrounding marketplace.

If anyone needs me I'll be down here on the beach. With my walker. Yelling at kids. ;)

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Voting closed 37

Same. It's a real shame what's happened to Harvard Square in the last few decades. I thought it had lost a lot of its original soul by the early 90s (when places like Elsie's had closed) but that was like paradise compared to nowadays.

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The Coffee Connection (before Starbucks bought them)
Newbury Comics
The delicious rollup stand
Multiple head shops and Indian/Nepali clothing stores

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Voting closed 21

Don't forget the Tasty! And the German place with all the kinds of beer!

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Voting closed 15

There's so much more....I was just talking about the Garage!

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Harvard Sq has been going to the dogs ever since Leavitt & Pierce started selling tobacco to those impressionable young Harvard boys.

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Voting closed 15

Back in the 70s-80s there was a quite good (French ?) restaurant there, overlooking JFK Street (which may still have been Boylston St back then), next to a rather upmarket wine store. Can't remember the names of either of them unfortunately.

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Voting closed 6

Iruna?

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I think we're on the second or third generation of the Harvard Square downhill slide. My generation thought the Square died when places like the Tasty, Strawberries, Ruggles Pizza, and The Spa left and places like Tealuxe showed up. Now Tealuxe's departure is another step on the downward slope.

I think it's pretty telling that when you Google Harvard Square it's now described as a tourist attraction.

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Voting closed 21

Man, I even predate Strawberries to when New England Music City was in Harvard Square. And a coffehouse run by the now forgotten "Processean" cult. This was way early 70s.

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Voting closed 8

but there used to be a lot more for the tourists to see and do.

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Voting closed 14

Still got a an old Bruins sweatshirt from Proletariat and I think another screen printed one they sold.

Loved going to Tokyo Kid and Newbury Comics, Ben and Jerry's, John Harvards and more recently, Tasty for my mid bike ride burger and beer.

And how I am only just being made aware of the Bobby Orr stained glass piece!?

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Proletariat had the best selection of vintage t-shirts, and then one day the store was all skateboard parts and graffiti supplies. Oh well.

Remember Hootennany? Clothing store owned by Newbury Comics. Cool brands but high prices and their clearance rack was like $5 off the original price. Had my eye on this cool blazer there for $125, and then found it at the original Filene's Basement for $20.

Some incarnation of the pizza place in front (Crazy Dough's? Cafe Avventura?) sold beer, and they had pitchers of PBR for some crazy low price like $5 or $6. Made it a great pre-game spot for Brattle Theater, Harvard Sq Theater, etc, although I remember wishing it was still there when The Sinclair opened up.

That basement bathroom that was always sketchy and smelled awful...

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Voting closed 7

I worked at the Coffee Connection in the early 80s, when the washrooms weren't open to the public (and yeah, it was just great to have to explain to customers at a COFFEE SHOP that there were no washrooms...)

The women's room was super sketchy, and there were rumors that female staff who used it had been assaulted in there by a male security guard. It was actually a big relief in more ways than one when they were made open to the public. They were still vile, but at least there was more activity so they ironically felt safer.

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Voting closed 7

Nobody has yet mentioned the Baby Watson Cheesecake place that was once on the ground floor of the Garage. In fact it was basically the anchor of the ground floor. I passed by it a million times but never actually bought anything there. Probably saved myself a few calories.

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Voting closed 2