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Crimson Corner Newsstand Will Move to Brattle Plaza

Crimson Corner and the adjacent restaurant Tory Row, which closed in October, may be replaced by pizza chain &pizza, which has applied to combine and renovate their spaces.
Crimson Corner and the adjacent restaurant Tory Row, which closed in October, may be replaced by pizza chain &pizza, which has applied to combine and renovate their spaces. By Megan M. Ross
By Alison W. Steinbach and Katherine E. Wang, Crimson Staff Writers


After months of uncertainty, Harvard Square's landmark newsstand Crimson Corner will remain in the Square.

Chris Kotelly, the store's owner, will move his newsstand on April 10 to 35 Brattle St. at Brattle Plaza, just down the block from his current spot at the intersection of Brattle St., JFK St., and Massachusetts Ave. Kotelly signed a new four-year lease with the same property owner as his current location.

Kotelly said he plans to close his current location on April 9 and open at Brattle Plaza on April 10.

In December, Kotelly’s property owner notified him that his lease would not be renewed, and the Washington, D.C. pizza chain &pizza has been planning to move in. The 54-year-old family business—of which Kotelly is the third-generation owner—originally faced bleak prospects.

Denise A. Jillson, executive director of the Harvard Square Business Association, said she repeatedly encouraged Kotelly, a longtime member of the Association, to find a new spot in the Square.

“I’m sure we were one of many people urging him to try to negotiate something with his property owner because we knew...that there were other spaces that they owned and some of them were vacant,” Jillson said. “The community really has an affinity for [Kotelly] in the way that he manages Crimson Corner.”

Kotelly said his lawyer had been negotiating with the building managers in an effort to keep the same spot. After that initial hope was unsuccessful, they negotiated to move to a property down the street.

Both Jillson and Kotelly said that though the move will prove a disruption, they remain hopeful about the store’s prospects.

“I assume that there is somewhat less visibility and foot traffic down there but I think there’s still enough opportunity to be successful there,” Kotelly said. “So, I think it’s going to be kind of challenging, but exciting at the same time.”

“It’s not an ideal location, but the fact that he can stay in the Square—and I think it’s a good location—is important,” Jillson said.

Kotelly said Crimson Corner is looking to publicize the move in order to attract new customers and also keep the regulars.

“We’re going to print up some flyers so we can hand out to people and try to do a little advertising, you know, put up some signs,” Kotelly said. “I think, hopefully, this opens up a new opportunity to new customers too, so we’re excited.”

Jillson said she thinks Cambridge residents will be glad that Crimson Corner will remain in Harvard Square.

“We’re really pleased that he’s staying, and we hope that people will go and buy newspapers, particularly those who were lamenting the loss,” Jillson said.

–Staff writer Alison W. Steinbach can be reached at alison.steinbach@thecrimson.com. Follow her on Twitter @alisteinbach.

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