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Toto, We're Not in The Square Anymore

* Newbury Street offers a version of many local shops

By Jacqueline A. Newmyer, SPECIAL TO THE CRIMSON

BOSTON--Adventurous Harvardians who have trekked outside fair Cambridge into Boston proper may have noticed a quirky trend.

Many of our local retailers, who peddle wares in and around Harvard Square, have also set up shop on Newbury Street, Boston's elite shopping boulevard.

Herrell's, a Harvard favorite for ice cream and frozen yogurt, has four other locations, including one on Newbury.

But students here can take heart that their Herrell's looks nothing like the Newbury shop, a Starbucks-like coffeehouse that serves bagels, with vanilla malts on the side.

Other retailers with locations on both sides of the Charles, including Urban Outfitters and HMV, exist in carbon copies.

These gigantic chains are characterized by the uniformity of their units. Loyal patrons appreciate the familiarity of the similar layouts and decor that welcome them in every venue.

Fittingly, the Urban Outfitters on Newbury Street carries the same clothing and housewares as its counterpart on JFK Street. Newbury's HMV boasts the same prices and music selection as the one in Brattle Square.

Smaller retailers also retain stores in Cambridge and along the Newbury promenade. Boutiques like Aldo, Blades and Newbury Comics appeal to the young and fad-conscious crowd that frequents the area around the University as well as the posh Boston strip.

Sola and Jasmine--the affiliated shoe and clothing shops--offer fine fashions to Harvard students and Boston clientele at Brattle and Newbury locations. While the Harvard site is more spacious than the Newbury store, both offer a similar selection of pricey designer clothes and accessories.

Only Herrell's varies significantly from site to site.

Anna Klein, owner of the Newbury Herrell's, which dubs itself an "ice cream parlor and cafe," revealed in an interview with The Crimson that Steve Herrell franchises his namesake product.

The Harvard location, a friendly and offbeat hangout, is the oldest Herrell's. Newbury's Herrell's, an antiseptic and coffee-house-esque venue, is the newest incarnation of the Herrell's chain.

Klein said that the differences in atmosphere can be attributed to the accommodating temperament of Steve Herrell.

She noted the distinctions between patrons of the Harvard Herrell's and the customers at her branch.

"The crowd here is slightly more upscale and generally older," Klein said.

To woo the stylish Newbury set, Klein has integrated baked goods, "panini" sandwiches and espresso drinks into the traditional Herrell's menu of ice cream and frozen yogurt.

While Harvard clientele lick scoops between the marine-painted walls of the Holyoke street den, Newbury gourmands sample biscotti and bagels in a spotless cafe.

One consistency, however, stands out amongst the atmospheric and menu differences. Both Herrell's offer the same tasty frozen concoctions that attract customers from big chains, which rely on mass production.

Ice cream and frozen yogurt made three gallons at a time bring patrons back to both Newbury and Holyoke Streets.

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