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Harvard Square Creperie Shutters Doors

Arrow Street Crepes, the Harvard Square creperie located near the intersection of Mass. Ave. and Arrow St., closed its doors earlier this month.
Arrow Street Crepes, the Harvard Square creperie located near the intersection of Mass. Ave. and Arrow St., closed its doors earlier this month.
By Kerry M. Flynn and Xi Yu, Crimson Staff Writers

Citing financial difficulties and an uncooperative landlord, Arrow Street Crepes, the Harvard Square creperie located near the intersection of Mass. Ave. and Arrow St., closed its doors earlier this month.

“It’s my opinion that the creperie had to leave because we were dealing with a landlord that didn’t want us there,” said James E. Murray, the owner and founder of the shop, known also as “La Creperie.”

According to Murray, the rent was rising, and it was getting “increasingly difficult” to pay. He said he asked his landlord for leniency on rent payments as he is running two businesses in Cambridge during a tight economy. But the landlord turned down the request.

Debbie DeJesus, who co-owns the building with her sister, said that over the past year all her tenants have struggled to pay rent.

“But I’ve tried to work with them and do what I can do,” DeJesus said, noting, however, that the sisters had failed to reach an agreement with Murray.

“We’re a small business. We’re not a big corporation,” said Murray, whose creperie at 1154 Mass Ave. has served Harvard Square for 12 years. “If we could have gotten some consideration from the landlord then we could have found a way to stay there.”

Murray owns another restaurant called Canteen a few blocks down Mass Ave. from his creperie. Located at 983 Massachusetts Ave, the gourmet sandwich shop opened on May 22.

Murray introduced crepes to the menu a month after its opening but decided to take them off so his two restaurants would not be in competition with one another. But with the closing of La Creperie, Murray said he plans to begin serving crepes at Canteen.

The restaurant will begin offering crepes this Friday and will be offering free crepes the next day to anyone with a Harvard ID, he said.

Meanwhile, DeJesus said she is actively looking for a tenant to fill the empty property that the creperie left behind.

“I’m pretty confident that we’ll get someone here soon because it’s a great location,” DeJesus said.

Murray’s quaint restaurant served over 40 types of crepes, including sweet crepes, salads, and smoothies. He said he is currently working with the president of the Harvard Student Agencies to find a new home for La Creperie in Harvard Square.

Andeb, LLC—the partnership that owns the building—wrote in a statement that they were disappointed in the outcome and wished Murray the best.

—Staff writer Kerry M. Flynn can be reached at kflynn@college.harvard.edu.

—Staff writer Xi Yu can be reached at xyu@college.harvard.edu.

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