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A new 'Tasty' restaurant coming to Harvard Square

Posted by Brock Parker  May 1, 2012 03:09 PM

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Boston's "Tasty Burger" is planning to open a second location in the spot now occupied by a 7-Eleven Convenience store in Cambridge's Harvard Square. Photo by Brock Parker.

A new “Tasty” is coming to Harvard Square.

Fifteen years after the landmark “Tasty Sandwich Shop,” also known as the “Tasty,” closed in the heart of Harvard Square, a group of Boston restaurateurs is planning to open “Tasty Burger” on the same block.

The new restaurant will be the second location of “Tasty Burger” which has been open on Boston’s Boylston Street near Fenway Park since 2010. It will move into space occupied by a 7-Eleven convenience store at 40 JFK St. in Harvard Square in late summer or early fall.

When it does, it will be a homecoming of sorts for “Tasty Burger” co-owner Dave DuBois, who grew up in Cambridge in the 1970s and 1980s eating at “Tasty.”

“I always used to get the same thing—an American cheese omelet with French Fries in it,” said DuBois. “I can still taste it. It was really delicious.”

While “Tasty Burger” is not affiliated with the “Tasty Sandwich Shop” which closed in 1997 after about 80 years in business, DuBois said he is hoping to pay homage to the old restaurant by hanging a picture of it in his business and setting up nine counter stools in it in the same fashion as the old “Tasty.”

“It will be subtle, but people who knew Tasty will say ‘ah,’” he said.

DuBois, who is 45 years old, is a managing partner of The Franklin Restaurant Group, which also owns the Franklin Café in Boston’s South End, as well as Franklin Southie in South Boston and Citizen Public House & Oyster Bar near Fenway Park.

The group is seeking a beer and wine license and permits to open a “Tasty Burger” in Harvard Square with two floors and seating for 184 people, as well as standing room for another 21 people. In addition to offering an affordable menu of burgers, DuBois said the restaurant will have a pool table.

It will occupy space presently occupied by a 7-Eleven convenience store, as well as space beneath the store, which is located on the same corner that houses the small "The Garage” shopping mall in Harvard Square.

DuBois said he’s excited to return to Harvard Square, where he had his first job working at the “Out of Town News” stand as a kid. He said he remembers how much “The Tasty” meant to the square before it closed in the 1990s, around the same time as the “Wursthaus” closed on the Read Block of Harvard Square at JFK Street and Massachusetts Avenue.

Since then, much of the square has given way to chain restaurants, stores and banks, so DuBois said he thinks it’s a special opportunity for him to open a restaurant in the area.

“It’s been very difficult for a local guy to compete with these national chains,” he said. “It’s such an amazing location. It means a lot to me as a businessman, but also as a person to be back in that neighborhood.”

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