Dunkin' Opens in T Stop

The aroma of coffee and doughnuts filled the air yesterday as a new Dunkin' Donuts location opened for business in the Harvard Square T stop.

Located underground near the turnstiles of the heavily trafficked Red Line route, the new franchise began operations at noon, drawing a steady stream of customers throughout the day.

Anthony Palladino, general manager of retail operations for Riverside Management Group, which operates several Dunkin' Donuts throughout the city, said it took several months to gain the necessary approvals and renovate the site.

"It took time to make arrangements with the MBTA, but we managed to work it all out," he said.

Palladino said a Togo breakfast sandwich franchise may also open in the new store in the future.

"Togo will hopefully be tied in the future," Palladino said. "It's a unique operation that's done well, so we hope to bring it here."

Palladino delayed yesterday's store opening to allow for on-the-job training of new employees, but the doughnut and coffee shop will operate on the same hours as the T in the future.

"Today was a soft opening," Palladino said. "We wanted to familiarize our employees with the equipment and the operation to minimize mistakes. We will be here at 5 a.m. tomorrow morning, though."

Steve Latzanakis, the owner of a separately owned Dunkin' Donuts franchise on Mass Ave., said he did not believe the new store's opening will affect his branch.

He will be forced to leave his Mass. Ave store in the near future because the Harvard Cooperative Society, which owns the building, plans to renovate it this spring.

But he said he believes Dunkin' Donuts will allow him to continue using the franchise name if he reopens the store after the renovation.

"It won't affect us," he said. "We've had a favorable response [from Dunkin' Donuts] and will still try to stay here."

The Mass. Ave Dunkin' Donuts and the Bow and Arrow pub, which will also be forced to close because of the renovations, were both featured in the 1998 movie Good Will Hunting.

Negotiations are still in progress on whether the small businesses will be allowed to return to their locations after renovations are complete.