From Felipe's Creators, New Cheap Eats

Alison M. Tarwater

The owners of Felipe’s Taqueria plan to offer hamburgers, chili, and onion rings when they open their new restuarant, Flat Patties, next week.

“Flat Patties,” a new diner-style restaurant, plans to open its doors next week after months of occupying a vacated space in “The Garage” Shopping Area.

Created by the owners of Felipe’s Taqueria, Flat Patties is located directly across from the taqueria in the space that was previously the longtime home of Formaggio’s Delicatessen.

“The success we have realized in Harvard Square with Felipe’s gave us the confidence to open another restaurant right next door,” co-owner Tom Brush said. “The only challenge was creating an entirely new concept.”

Flat Patties’ menu is distinct from Felipe’s but it will also offer quick eats at low prices, says Brush. The restaurant’s main focus will be hamburgers and roast beef sandwiches, while daily specials, sandwiches, and salads will also be offered.

“Flat Patties will have the feel of a ‘drive through’ or a diner,” Brush said. “While initially our menu will start with a narrower focus on burgers and sandwiches, we also plan to offer items such as chicken wings, chili, cheese-fries, and onion rings.”

Menu prices will be competitive with other value restaurants in the Square. Brush said that hamburger prices will start under $3 and fountain soda will be available for 85 cents.

In addition to low prices and traditional American food, the Flat Patties diner theme emphasizes the homemade quality of its menu offerings.

“All our food will be homemade and prepared on the premises,” said Head Chef Ruben Garza, who previously worked at the popular Boston barbecue restaurant Blue Ribbon. “Our meat will be freshly ground and the desserts will have a home-baked appeal.”

Flat Patties will keep the same hours as Felipe’s, opening for lunch at 11 a.m. and closing at 2 a.m. Once operations get underway, Brush hopes to open the diner at 7 a.m. and offer a breakfast menu.

“The idea behind Flat Patties was to create another restaurant that would be popular to students, reasonably priced, and something that wasn’t offered here,” said Brush.

There are some preexisting hamburger restaurants in Harvard Square, and b.good, a restaurant that focuses on healthy hamburgers and sandwiches, is also in the process of opening a Square location.

“Our food will have more of a traditional focus than b.good’s,” said Garza. “Our goal is offer food similar to that of California burger restaurants. We will give people what they want—our fries will be deep fried.”

Although the interior is yet to be unveiled, Flat Patties’ layout will be similar to that of Felipe’s, with a counter-style restaurant and a modern theme, Brush said. There will be enough seating for 29 people inside and some walls will be removed to open the restaurant into The Garage’s food court seating area.

Many students, who expected Flat Patties to open late last spring, said they are excited to see the diner finally opening its doors.

“Since the university doesn’t really provide any late night social spaces, we need as many places like Flat Patties as possible,” said Fernando A. Berdian Del Valle ’08, who said he typically buys food five times per week in Harvard Square.

The Harvard Square Business Association also sees the restaurant as a welcome addition to Harvard Square.

“I think any fresh food that students and people who work in the Square would like to eat is terrific,” said Robin Lapidus, executive director of the Harvard Square Business Association. “The owners do a wonderful job with Felipe’s, and as such, I am sure that they will pay attention to every detail at Flat Patties.”

—Staff writer Carolyn A. Sheehan can be reached at csheehan@fas.harvard.edu.