Cheesecake Factory Will Serve Cambridge Clientele

Cheesecake lovers in Cambridge will soon have another option to satisfy their cravings.

The Cheesecake Factory, a popular restaurant chain that already operates 21 franchises in cities across the country, has announced the opening of its newest branch on October 21 in the CambridgeSide Galleria.

With it comes a moderately-priced, diverse menu providing anything from spicy Cajun cuisine to traditional, All-American steak and chicken entrees.

And lots of cheesecake.

"We're really excited about opening in Cambridge," General Manager Ron Bartolomeo said. "With tourists, college students and area residents, it's a great location for us."

The restaurant is the second for the chain in the Boston area. The other franchise is located at The Atrium, a mall near the campus of Boston College in Chestnut Hill.

Besides its trademark gourmet cheesecake, the restaurant will offer more than 200 menu items, Bartolomeo said.

"The most common misconception is that we only specialize in cheesecake," he said. "But we have many popular entrees, ranging from Cajun jambalaya pasta to chicken and biscuits."

However, it was the delectable cheesecake recipe of one entrepreneur's mother that gave birth to the chain in Beverly Hills, where the first franchise opened in 1978.

Bartolomeo said the restaurant's prices are competitive and are no higher than the prices at most national chains.

"Given the size of our servings, I'd say we're a bargain," he said.

Reaction on campus was positive. "I think it's great, especially since it's more accessible," said Kristy L. Garcia '98, who has dined at the Chestnut Hill location.

The Cheesecake Factory "is a great place to go before a formal or if you're celebrating a birthday," Garcia said. "Looking at the menu, I was just like, 'wow."

The new restaurant, with its estimated 260-person capacity, will be housed at the Galleria's main entrance, where shoppers taking the free shuttle from Kendall Square unload and embark on their journey through the mall.

About 30 patrons at a time will be able to dine on an outside patio, Bartolomeo said.

The manager said that the new restaurant would employ approximately 240 people. "We're in the hiring process right now," he said. "In total we'll have about 90 servers.