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Dunkin' Donuts, Bow Will Stay Open for Now

By Jonathan F. Taylor, Crimson Staff Writer

Despite predictions that January would bring the closings of the Bow and Arrow Pub and Dunkin' Donuts, both have received a brief reprieve.

The doors of the two Harvard Square icons will remain open through February, but after completion of extensive renovations, the future of the stores remains uncertain.

The property, which is owned by the Harvard Cooperative Society but is currently controlled by the development company, IDM Inc., is undergoing extensive remodeling. IDM hopes to find a single occupant to simplify the property's lease.

Both the Bow and Dunkin' Donuts leases on the property are only being renewed on a monthly basis.

"The developers have not found a tenant yet, but there are a lot of people that are interested from small businesses to big ones," said Coop President Jeremiah P. Murphy Jr. '73. "The developer has the rights to sign the tenants, but we have to put to final approval on the lease."

The two Square institutions became well-known after they were featured locales in the 1998 movie, Good Will Hunting.

Both of the present establishments want to stay in the Square after the renovation but are somewhat pessimistic about their prospects.

"I don't know if we'll be moving back in--I've been told they're looking for a single tenant for the whole space, that's more than we could handle," said Peter Wheson, general manager of the Bow.

Steve Latzanakis, owner of the Dunkin' Donuts franchise, has been bargaining for the first opportunity to renegotiate--termed the right of first refusal--but has been unsuccessful in securing anything in writing thus far.

"We're thinking about starting a petition so that we can have the right of first refusal," Latzanakis said.

"The Tasty was offered the chance to come back in, but the owner didn't want to, because he felt the image had changed, plus he didn't want to pay the higher rent. We're not like that.... Rent is not an issue, it's the option to come back in that we want," he said.

Latzanakis may lose his affiliation with Dunkin' Donuts because he said the parent corporation wants to renovate the store immediately instead of waiting for a deal which might not come through.

"Right now we're having a problem with the Dunkin' Donuts corporation. They're putting us out of business faster than the developers. They feel the image we present now isn't up to their standards, even after Good Will Hunting and continually rising sales," Latzanakis said.

"They're threatening to pull the rug out from under us, meaning we'd have to go independent. We'll know by next week."

Officials at Dunkin' Donuts were not available for comment.

According to Latzanakis, going independent would harm his chances of returning to the location after the renovations are completed in the fall. He said he feels IMD, the development company, would not support a small business without a brand name behind it.

Since IMD took control of the property this fall, the current tenants have remained only through signing individual one-month extensions.

"They have to give us at least a months notice, and we haven't received one as of yet. So we're here at least through February. They originally gave us 60 days notice in late October," Wheson said.

No definite date has been set for the removal of the businesses, because of uncertainty in the renovation schedule. Both tenants originally were scheduled to be out by the end of January.

Although construction has already begun on the property, no one is certain when the renovations will proceed to the point that the businesses will have to leave.

"The developers are starting to do work on the back of the property, working on the mechanics, it's all internal at this point. I don't know when they will get to the stage where the current tenants will have to get out," Murphy said. "They've been working around the tenants so far."

So now the businesses only know the expulsion is coming, but not when.

"We would obviously like to stay here, we've been here for 25 years," Wheson said. "But it ain't over till its over."

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