Tommy's Forced to Close Earlier

Neighbor's noise complaints prompt city commission review

Harvard’s most famous 3 a.m. tradition ended last month, as Tommy’s House of Pizza now has to close an hour earlier.

The decision is the result of three Cambridge city commissioners’ response to the noise complaints of the eatery’s neighbor, Genevieve McMillan.

When Mian Iftakar took over the lease at Tommy’s House of Pizza three months ago, McMillan wrote to City Hall to ask that the closing time be adjusted.

McMillan, a 25-year resident of 40 Bow St., says that over the past two years she and her tenants have continually suffered from Tommy’s late-night noise.

Iftakar said he had no idea about McMillan’s grievances.

After a first hearing, Tommy’s was instructed to close one hour earlier.

But McMillan complained once more, saying she hoped to push the closing time back to 1 a.m., because it is a residential area.

McMillan described the experience of living above Tommy’s—located at 49 Mt. Auburn St., across from Quincy House—as an ordeal.

“There are dreadful drunks shouting at the top of their voices and it makes sleep impossible,” she said, adding that the problem was especially bad with open windows during the summer.

At a second hearing on May 22, McMillan’s plea was supported by Ginny Nathans, the president of the Harvard Square Defense Fund, a community organization devoted to protecting the historic character of the Square.

Iftakar said that during his time operating Tommy’s, he has never had to call the police.

“There is no liquor in my store. We tell anyone coming in with a beer, ‘I’m sorry, you’ll have to leave,’” he said.

Iftakar is concerned that McMillan will continue to petition City Hall until a midnight curfew is enforced.

However, the wording of the court’s decision suggests some hope the 3 a.m. curfew could be restored.

“The 2 a.m. license will be maintained with a possible extension,” the decision reads.

The case will be reviewed in October.