IHOP to Open By End of Month

The International House of Pancakes (IHOP) is set to open in the Square on Nov. 20, a month earlier than originally reported. The director of operations for the franchise, Walter Salaverria, promised “no more delays.”

When IHOP first purchased the 16-18 Eliot Street space, across from The Charles Hotel, the store’s managers had planned to serve pancakes as early as June 2006. Delays in the shipment of kitchen equipment pushed back the opening date to this fall, and just last week the owner of the property, Robert Banker ’58, said that he was aiming to have the store open by New Year’s Day.

The store will open at 7 a.m. on the 20th, but store officials are planning a special “dry run” on the day before the grand opening. Invitations to sample the pancakes will be distributed to community members, business owners, and students. Salaverria said if uninvited guests drop in that day, he might feel compelled to invite them in as well.

“Today is your lucky day,” Salaverria said he might tell them. “Come in.”

Mr. Stax Inc., a California-based IHOP management company, bought the 16-18 Eliot Street space last year, and has spent over $1 million on construction to create a store with a look that was more modern than any other IHOP location.

“Every few years the franchisers have to change the look,” said Salaverria, who is in charge of 48 other IHOP stores through Mr. Stax Inc.

“It’s going to be the new look for the IHOP,” he said.

Mr. Stax Inc. changed the lighting, switched the colors of the coffee pots to copper and black, and also upgraded the seating to gray benches that will seat up to 96 customers in total, according to the store’s general manager, Hugo Buenavenura.

The Square location will also be the first IHOP in the country to offer a low-carb menu, called “IHOP for Me,” in addition to its classic menu. Customers will be able to order a Carb Conscious T-Bone Dinner, a Carb Conscious T-Bone Breakfast, or a Fresh Fruit Bowl.

As of Friday, the restaurant’s ceiling lay exposed, awaiting city inspection of the store’s wiring.

—Staff writer Shifra B. Mincer can be reached at smincer@fas.harvard.edu.