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Oggi Gourmet will move to the former home of Finale Dessert Shop on 30 Dunster Street, joining Clover Food Lab as an eatery that has successfully found new real estate in Harvard Square as it prepares to vacate its current location in the Smith Campus Center.
While the renovations aren’t slated to begin until April, the restaurant will begin moving its equipment as early as next week. Although the physical location will be different, the square footage will remain about the same and customers should expect almost everything else to remain unchanged, Oggi Manager Elvett Welch said.
“Here it’s a… longer space and over there it is more like a square” Welch said. “You might not see everything at a length like this.”
Although Clover and Oggi have been successful in the search for a new space, several Smith Center businesses have yet to find new venues.
Al's Harvard Square Cafe, an eatery specializing in Italian subs, is still searching for a new location. Al’s employee Catherine Bonilla said customers ask almost everyday whether Al’s will be closing.
“We might open somewhere else, but probably not in the area.” Bonilla said.
Since its Harvard Square location opened in 2001, Al’s, which currently boasts four Boston-area locations, has been a fixture for students by offering their popular “bag lunch” meals, which consist of a sandwich, soda, and bag of chips.
Boston-based bakery and cafe chain Au Bon Pain, which resides in a larger storefront than Oggi and Clover, is also still looking for new real estate.
"Harvard Square is an important area to Au Bon Pain and Boston as a whole,” Au Bon Pain spokesperson Maria Feicht wrote in an email. “We hope to find another location in the near future that fits our needs and serves our guests in the same capacity."
The impending departure of Al’s comes as disappointing news to many students who are fans of the cafe.
“It is one of the few affordable places in the Square and will be greatly missed.” Chad J. Benoit ’16 said. “I will always remember the first time I went to Al's and got a large sandwich and failed to realize that it is nearly impossible for one human to eat a large-size Al's in one sitting.”
Other students, including Max W. Liebeskind ’17, said they were more saddened by Au Bon Pain’s potential departure.
“I’m not a big fan of Al’s since I don’t think their sandwiches are that good,” Liebeskind said. ”Au Bon Pain is disappointing. It’s a great breakfast place.”
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