Cambridge Has a New Social Space

Ann-Marie Y Barrett

If you're tired of spending night after night at a Grafton Group Restaurant or sick of wandering up and down Mt. Auburn Street searching for a party, look no further. The Sinclair, a new concert venue and restaurant located at 52 Church St., has opened its doors to the Square.

The Sinclair is the newest concert venue backed by The Bowery Presents, the New York-based booking company behind such iconic spaces as the Bowery Ballroom and Terminal 5. Now, for the price of a movie ticket, you can go see a concert in the Square and possibly splurge for a nice meal afterward.

The Harvard Square location presented a unique challenge to The Bowery Presents because of Cambridge's puritanical liquor laws, which forbid nightclub licenses; businesses cannot serve alcohol without food. In the face of such restrictions, Bowery decided to go into the restaurant business at The Sinclair, a bold move for a company that had never done so before.

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The resulting space—part restaurant, part concert venue—provides a unique addition to a Square in need of new nightlife options. Though Harvard Square lacks nightclubs like New Haven's ubiquitous Toad's Place (and doesn't even have a movie theater, for that matter), The Sinclair concert venue may begin to fill that void with a large wraparound balcony, a maximum capacity of 525 people, and, most importantly, three bars.

In order to attract students, The Sinclair has worked to provide affordable concerts and meals for its patrons. According to Josh Bhatti, the head of Bowery Presents: Boston, 80 percent of the concerts at the Sinclair cost less than 20 dollars. "We wanted our prices to be accessible so that people can come back multiple times," Bhatti says. In addition, very few concerts have a 21-plus age restriction, making it easier for students to attend. Unfortunately, one does have to be 21+ to enjoy the three bars.

Check out FM's full review of the Sinclair here, and visit the magazine landing page for more FM content.

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