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French Cafe Closes

Patisserie Francaise Leaves Cantina


The Patisserie Francaise closed yesterday after 30 years of serving the Cambridge community.

The moldy bread and rotten fruit lying on the floor of the 54 JFK St. restaurant served as testimony yesterday to the demise of the Harvard Square cafe.

After two moving vans had removed the bulk of the furnishings from the shop, large piles of bowls, boxes and even a forgotten raspberry pie still sat on the cafe floor.

The building's ownership changed hands recently, according to a local merchant. The merchant said that in September, MIT bought the building in which Patisserie Francaise was located.

According to 25-year Cambridge resident James M. Williamson, the departure of Patisserie Francaise is yet another sign of what he views as an increasingly upscale, commercialized Harvard Square, stripped of its unique character.

The cafe was "the closest thing to an authentic place in Harvard Square," Williamson said while eating a hamburger in The Tasty. "This great place, gone."

"The only businesses that can afford to survive are the corporate franchises," he added.

The Leonard Stephen Salon, on the third floor at 54 JFK St., was open for business yesterday. But Patisserie Francaise's neighbors on the second floor, the Delhi International Boutique and Yak Arts Unlimited, were not open during their regular hours yesterday.

Future use of the cafe's space is not known at this time.

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