For some of Combridge's oldest businesses, October will be their last month in the historic Read Block at the center of Harvard Square. The building's owner has not yet said what this date will mean for The Tasty.
The end seems nigher for the Square's only 24-hour greasy spoon.
At a private meeting on Wednesday, Cambridge Savings Bank told the building's occupants that the bank's plans to renovate Read Block will require that the tenants move-out by October 31st.
Whether this date will be the beginning of a temporary move for The Tasty or its last day at its famous corner locale remains to be seen.
The eatery's owner, Peter A. Haddad, said the prospects seem daunting. Haddad said he believes the bank wants to exclude him from the new building.
He shared this suspicion at yesterday's meeting with bank management, which resulted in sharp words between he and Nelson Goddard, the bank's senior vice president for administration.
"The bank wouldn't give an
Goddard confirmed in an interview yesterday that thebank has not made any tenancy plans and that none of the current tenants have "return rights to the building," but the added that the bank will talk with Haddad.
"The bank has made some statements in the past about [The Tasty] coming back into the building," Goddard said. "And at the meeting yesterday I asked Haddad to come meet with us and talk--so far I haven't heard from him."
The bank's renovation plans call for the preservation of all three building facades along the Read Block and construction of a new interior. The bank will restore the two end buildings entirely and preserve the facade of the middle building, a plan which-after three years of haggling--recently received the Cambridge Historical Commission's approval.
The bank will use the third floor of the renovated building for its own offices and will lease the lower two floors to retail stores.
Because the new building will not contain small office space, almost all of the building's current occupants--most of which are small businesses--will not be able to return to the building. Increased rent and the building. Increased rent and the building's two year closure for renovation present further obstacles, tenants said.
Though tenants have known since the bank bought the building three years ago that they would eventually be asked to leave, the occupants were stunned by yesterday's announcement.
"We were all just pretty shocked," said Rosaile A. Prosser, owner of Alice Darling Secretarial, which has been in the building for 84 years. "They have always left it that there won't be any room for any of us in the new building."
Even those who have only been in the building a short time are disappointed at the prospect of leaving.