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Wagamama Closes Doors After Decade in the Square

Wagamama, a Britain-based Japanese noodle chain, shut down its Harvard Square location earlier this month.
Wagamama, a Britain-based Japanese noodle chain, shut down its Harvard Square location earlier this month. By Grace R. Ramsdell
By Alison W. Steinbach and Katherine E. Wang, Crimson Staff Writers

After a decade in Harvard Square, the Japanese noodle restaurant Wagamama closed its doors at 57 JFK St. for good on Sunday, July 9.

The London-based restaurant chain shuttered its Harvard Square branch in advance of the upcoming expiration of its ten-year lease. When Wagamama opened in the Square in 2007, it was the restaurant’s second U.S location. The chain now has several Boston locations and one in New York City.

“Wagamama will close the store to focus efforts on their new location in Boston’s thriving Seaport neighborhood, coming this summer, as well as on the growth of its other Boston locations: Faneuil Hall and Prudential Center,” the company wrote in a statement.

Denise A. Jillson, executive director of the Harvard Square Business Association, said that Wagamama was very popular when it first came to Harvard Square.

“When word got out that they were coming, we got calls for weeks and months,” Jillson said. “I think they’re a terrific company and they were so deserving of that sort of eagerness to see them in Harvard Square. But you know after a while, like everything else, trends change.”

“We were sad to see them go,” she added.

Wagamama was one of about 10 off-campus locations that accepted Crimson Cash. During the dining hall workers’ strike in October 2016, Wagamama reported a spike in Crimson Cash use and student business after HUDS added $75 to students’ Crimson Cash accounts.

The storefront will remain empty until a new business leases the property and is approved by the City of Cambridge.

“It’s my understanding that the property owner is going to be leasing it out to something fabulous,” Jillson said. “So we’re looking forward to that.”

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

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