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First Printer Restaurant, Bar, and Grill expects to open its doors April 1, replacing the now-empty Herrell’s Ice Cream on Dunster St.
After 27 years of serving ice cream, Jeffrey Stanett decided to convert Herrell’s and expand the existing location into a casual restaurant due to financial pressure from rising costs and increased competition in Harvard Square, from J.P. Licks in particular.
Due to high labor and materials expenses as well as a $10,000 increase in rent per month, Herrell’s had been unable to turn a profit for the past four or five months, Stanett told The Crimson in September.
“I’m doing this so that all my good people have jobs, a place to work,” Stanett said yesterday.
“The only way to preserve that is to build a restaurant,” he added.
With construction for the new restaurant underway, Stanett is now planning First Printer’s business model, starting out with a traditional American menu.
Stanett emphasized that First Printer will be a “down to earth” restaurant.”
“I will start with very, very excellent, moderately priced hamburgers, very excellent, moderately priced hot dogs, and have weekly specials of standard New England fare,” he said.
Stanett added that he will later “ramp up” the menu with daily specials and seafood dishes.
Stanett has already procured a liquor licence and plans to offer a “moderately priced” full bar.
“If you take a young lady to a local competitor, it could cost 40 bucks,” Stanett estimated.
“But if you take her here, that 40 would come down to 20 or 30 bucks.”
Stanett said that he hopes to include a takeout option with frozen or prepared foods, such as clam chowder and lobster bisque, as well as desserts.
Finale Desserterie and Bakery, located across the street, welcomed news of First Printer’s opening.
“We’re not afraid of it being competition because we have a very unique business model that fits a very specific need for the public,” said Finale’s manager, Casey Eppskrier.
Eppskrier added that he looks forward to working with First Printer Restaurant, Bar, and Grill to bring business to both establishments.
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