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North End Comes to the Square with Mike's Opening

Danielle R Papa, the manager of the Cambridge location of Mike's Pastry, sprinkles powdered sugar on two cannoli for a customer. Mike's Pastry opened in Harvard Square on Thursday and is open seven days a week from 8am to 10pm.
Danielle R Papa, the manager of the Cambridge location of Mike's Pastry, sprinkles powdered sugar on two cannoli for a customer. Mike's Pastry opened in Harvard Square on Thursday and is open seven days a week from 8am to 10pm.
By Ivan B. K. Levingston and Celeste M. Mendoza, Crimson Staff Writers

After months of delays, the renowned Boston cannoli and sweets shop Mike’s Pastry opened its second location to much anticipation this past week in Harvard Square.

Though Mike’s received clearance from the city of Cambridge to begin building at 11 Dunster St. in late January, delays involving inspections and the proposed development plan held up the opening for months. The doors finally opened last Thursday morning.

Despite the setbacks, the store has had a “perfect” opening weekend, said Danielle Papa, a supervisor at the Harvard Square location and the daughter of Mike’s general manager Angelo Papa.

“It’s been a long time coming,” Danielle Papa said. “Cambridge is a great great neighborhood...no complaints at all.”

The Harvard Square location, which is open seven days a week from 8 a.m. until 10 p.m., has “more of the express to go” style than the North End location, according to Papa. Customers may have to go to the Boston establishment for larger cake orders, but the new branch receives deliveries of baked goods from the main store at least once a day and carries every flavor of the bakery’s signature cannoli, Papa said.

Though Mike’s is an established Boston icon, this is its first store outside of the North End. While there is the possibility of more branches in the future, Papa said she was focused on the “first trial” Cambridge location.

Danielle R Papa, the manager of the Cambridge location of Mike's Pastry, sprinkles powdered sugar on two cannoli for a customer. Mike's Pastry opened in Harvard Square on Thursday and is open seven days a week from 8am to 10pm.
Danielle R Papa, the manager of the Cambridge location of Mike's Pastry, sprinkles powdered sugar on two cannoli for a customer. Mike's Pastry opened in Harvard Square on Thursday and is open seven days a week from 8am to 10pm. By Alana M Steinberg

Mike’s Pastry has received positive feedback thus far from the local community.

The Harvard Square Business Association is “just delighted” to welcome the sweet shop to the Square, said Denise A. Jillson, the merchant group’s executive director.

Both Jillson and Papa said the store has had a constant flow of customers since opening , the majority of whom have been students, according to Papa.

Jenni Ting ’15, who visited Mike’s early Monday morning said, “the location is definitely really convenient…. It’s nice not to have to go to the North End. Also I like the space; it was really clean and the staff was nice.”

In addition to being a local favorite, Mike’s is a popular tourist destination,  Jillson said.

“They’re an iconic business, and when people come from out of town, it’s almost like [visiting Mike’s Pastry] is one of the things that you have to do,” Jillson said. “Now folks can come to the Square and not make the trek to the North End to get their pastry.”

Jillson noted that the HBSA has encouraged Harvard Square businesses to stay open later, “but we understand fully that it’s…not an easy request.”

—Staff writer Ivan B. K. Levingston can be reached at Ivan.Levingston@thecrimson.com. Follow him on Twitter @IvanLevingston.

—Staff writer Celeste M. Mendoza can be reached at Celeste.Mendoza@thecrimson.com. Follow her on Twitter @CelesteMMendoza.

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Harvard SquareRestaurantsThe SquareSquare Business

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