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Nearly a year after Harvard ousted the upscale restaurant from its long-standing location in the Hasty Pudding building, Upstairs at the Pudding announced yesterday that it will reopen this fall with the new name Upstairs on the Square.
The restaurant will open in the current Market Theater site on the corner of Winthrop and JFK Streets, while the theater company will relocate to a larger space somewhere in Cambridge.
In a curious twist, the restaurant has managed to maintain a tenuous connection to the Pudding—its future home once housed the Pi Eta social and theatrical group, the now-defunct rival of the Hasty Pudding.
Upstairs co-owners Mary-Catherine Deibel and Deborah Hughes had their eye on the Winthrop Square location since it came up for sale last spring, according to Shannah Hall, the real estate broker who oversaw the deal.
“Over a year ago, I approached [Market Theater founder Gregory C.] Carr and said, ‘If you’re thinking of doing something else, please keep in mind that we are interested,’” Hall said. “But he continued to be in love with the building at that point.”
But though the theater is barely into its second season, Carr started “looking to expand,” said Temple Gill, Market Theater director of marketing and press. Specifically, Gill said that Carr wanted a larger stage.
Carr and Deibel began discussing the possibility of leasing the space in January, according to Gill. The Carr Foundation will remain landlord of the building, which also houses Grendel’s Den, a restaurant and bar, in its basement.
“We were especially pleased to give a home to the folks at the Upstairs at the Pudding,” Gill said. “They are such a well-loved restaurant in the Square.”
Though Carr spent $2 million renovating the building for the Market Theater last year, Upstairs plans to conduct extensive renovations of their own, according to a statement released yesterday.
The decor will remain in distinctive Upstairs style, which consists of “pinks, corals, deep jewel tones and accents of silver, gold and copper leaf throughout,” according to the press release. But there will also be new features—the release said “leopard and zebra patterned carpets will wrap the floors.”
“It’s a new restaurant and we have lots of new ideas,” Deibel said of planned features such as “Ladies’ Night at the Club Bar” and a chef’s table.
The restaurant will hold slightly more people than it used to, and the owners have already obtained a liquor license for 180 people, up from 150 previously, Deibel said.
The Market Theater is seriously considering two prospective locations, one in the Square and one near MIT, Gill said.
—Staff writer Eugenia B. Schraa can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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