As law enforcement officials secured Harvard Yard and searched several Harvard buildings for reported explosives, activity in Harvard Square and the surrounding area continued as usual Monday, mostly uninterrupted by events unfolding inside the University gates.
While at least one local school took extra safety precautions following an early-morning bomb threat to four Harvard buildings, owners and managers of Square businesses said that they did not alter their operations and that sales numbers were largely unaffected by Monday’s events. And although some employees were perturbed by reports of the bomb threat, many also said that their knowledge of the situation was limited and they had not closely been following the developing story.
“I’m not as informed as I should be, but I understand that there was some fake, potential bomb,” said Chris Kotelly, owner of the Crimson Corner, adding that his newsstand was enjoying as much business as is typical for a Monday.
Managers at CVS and Pinocchio's Pizza & Subs also said that the threat did not appear to impact sales and expressed little concern with the events of the day.
“Several people have said that they think that it’s a Harvard student that just didn’t feel like taking an exam today, so they called in the threats,” Noch’s manager Adam DiCenso said. “I don’t know if that’s true, but it’s kind of funny.”
At Pinkberry, a shift leader on duty said that the store was more concerned about business than the threat to the security of the area.
“We don’t really look at what’s going on as much, because we’re busy about our store,” shift leader Tausha Chareunchit said. “Because it’s a franchise, we worry more about our store than the location.”
Just a block away at J.P. Licks, however, one employee expressed distress and fear for her own safety.
“I was really traumatized,” Elisa M. Sanchez said, adding that, upon hearing the news, she was afraid to go to work.
While businesses carried on with the day as usual, at least one local school reacted substantively to the bomb threat. Students at Cambridge Rindge and Latin School, which is several blocks from the Yard, were required to stay indoors during lunch and recess, although the school was not fully locked down, a school employee said.
—Daniel R. Levine contributed to the reporting of this story.
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—Staff writer Steven R. Watros can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @SteveWatros.
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