News

The Path to Public Service at SEAS

News

Should Supreme Court Justices Have Term Limits? That ‘Would Be Fine,’ Breyer Says at Harvard IOP Forum

News

Harvard Right to Life Hosts Anti-Abortion Event With Students For Life President

News

Harvard Researchers Debunk Popular Sleep Myths in New Study

News

Journalists Discuss Trump’s Effect on the GOP at Harvard IOP Forum

Dunkin' Donuts Finally Granted Store in Square

NO WRITER ATTRIBUTED

In a major victory for the movement to open national fast food restaurants in the Square, a local business executive recently cemented a deal to bring a Dunkin' Donuts franchise to the corner of Eliot Street and JFK Street next month.

The fight to open a Dunkin' Donuts in the Square has been raging since last decade, with the Harvard Square Defense Fund, a local interest group, moving to block the opening of the donut superstore.

This time, Duarte M. "Duke" Carvalho, the franchisee of the new store, exploited a loophole in the city code to open the new restaurant in the area recently vacated by the Left Bank Cafe.

The new franchise was able to open because of the existence of a previous fast food restaurant on the site. Such establishments were allowed to continue operating when the city passed the Fast Food Ordinances, a series of regulations restricting the access of fast food restaurants to the Square.

"We don't think Harvard Square is enhanced by a Dunkin' Donuts because you can go anywhere in the world and get a Dunkin' Donuts," said Harvard Square Defense Fund President G. Pebble Gifford. "The idea is you come to Harvard Square and get something different."

Carvalho and the defense fund did agree to a deal ensuring that the Square's Dunkin' Donuts will not have all the trappings of a typical franchise.

For example, the new restaurant will not sport the usual Dunkin' Donuts decor, such as pink and orange colors, according to Gifford.

In addition, the restaurant will not even be named Dunkin' Donuts; instead, it will be known as the Eliot Street Cafe featuring Dunkin' Donuts.

"The [defense fund] feels that fast food chains such as Dunkin' would change the character of the Square," Carvalho said. "We agreed with that, actually. I'm a local business man who happens to use the name of Dunkin' Donuts."

Carvalho said the restaurant has also agreed to serve drinks in paper rather than foam in order to minimize environmentally unsafe trash.

He also said there would be some changes in the menu which he hoped would appeal to the Harvard Square clientele.

"I think it will fit what the area needs," Carvalho said. "We will be providing our basic coffee line which is what we are known for, and there will be some changes in the menu to account for the flavors, the tastes of Harvard Square."

Carvalho said the franchise would probably offer soups, bagels and deli sandwiches in addition to the standard Dunkin' Donuts fare.

"We will not just be a coffee-and-donuts shop; we will have a more comprehensive menu," he said.

Gifford said Carvalho also agreed to hire people to clean up litter in the area.

She added that while her organization is not happy about the development, members are becoming reconciled to it.

"The defense fund would rather it didn't happen, but we think the Dunkin' Donuts has tried to respond to our concerns," Gifford said. "We're hoping that the impact on the Square will not be too negative and they won't drive out the other stores selling the same product."

"We hope he cleans up his litter and doesn't generate a lot of truck traffic in the morning," said Gifford.

History

While the fight for Dunkin' Donuts has been going on for years, Carvalho himself has been trying for four years to bring a donut franchise to the Square.

In 1992, Carvalho tried to set up shop on Mt. Auburn Street, in the space now filled by Bruegger's. In a battle that ultimately played itself out in Middlesex Superior Court, Carvalho was unable to get through the zoning regulations.

"He's been trying through every avenue possible," Gifford said. "He was determined to get in here."

Gifford said the current loophole did not exist at the Bruegger's location.

According to Gifford, many fast food places are eager to gain a foothold in Harvard Square.

"They all try to get in all the time," said Gifford. "They all see this as a prestige address, a lot of pedestrian traffic."

But Gifford said the Fast Food Ordinance requires, among other things, that such establishments fill a need.

Gifford said she doesn't think Dunkin' Donuts fulfills this requirement.

"Every purveyor of coffee says his coffee is the best," she said

"We hope he cleans up his litter and doesn't generate a lot of truck traffic in the morning," said Gifford.

History

While the fight for Dunkin' Donuts has been going on for years, Carvalho himself has been trying for four years to bring a donut franchise to the Square.

In 1992, Carvalho tried to set up shop on Mt. Auburn Street, in the space now filled by Bruegger's. In a battle that ultimately played itself out in Middlesex Superior Court, Carvalho was unable to get through the zoning regulations.

"He's been trying through every avenue possible," Gifford said. "He was determined to get in here."

Gifford said the current loophole did not exist at the Bruegger's location.

According to Gifford, many fast food places are eager to gain a foothold in Harvard Square.

"They all try to get in all the time," said Gifford. "They all see this as a prestige address, a lot of pedestrian traffic."

But Gifford said the Fast Food Ordinance requires, among other things, that such establishments fill a need.

Gifford said she doesn't think Dunkin' Donuts fulfills this requirement.

"Every purveyor of coffee says his coffee is the best," she said

Want to keep up with breaking news? Subscribe to our email newsletter.

Tags