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Flat Patties Flips Out of Harvard Square

Flat Patties, a local burger restaurant in Harvard Square, is scheduled to close by the end of 2019.
Flat Patties, a local burger restaurant in Harvard Square, is scheduled to close by the end of 2019. By Mariah Ellen D. Dimalaluan
By Ellen M. Burstein and Sydnie M. Cobb, Crimson Staff Writers

Flat Patties — a casual burger eatery in Harvard Square — will exit its Brattle Street location amidst a slew of closings in the area.

The restaurant has operated on Brattle Street since 2014, after migrating from its former locale in the Garage in Harvard Square. Flat Patties’ current retail space is owned by Asana Partners, the North Carolina-based development company that owns several retail storefronts on Brattle St.

The owners of Black Ink, a neighboring stationery store that also occupies an Asana Partners space, alleged that they are being forced to close due to rising rent prices charged by Asana. Black Ink recently launched a campaign that allows customers to offer their opinions on the changing commercial landscape of Harvard Square.

Representatives of Asana Partners did not respond to requests for comment.

Restaurateur Tom J. Brush, who owns Flat Patties, Felipés Taqueria, and Crema Café, which departed the Square last December, said the decision to leave Harvard Square was influenced by rising rent prices and not affected by underwhelming sales.

“While our sales are solid, certainly the landlord, after purchasing this property almost two years ago, they really need to generate more rental revenue from the property,” he said. “There’s demand out there, so certainly they are interested in maximizing their revenue.”

Brush also said that though Flat Patties’s lease will expire on Nov. 1, the store will continue to occupy the space until Asana finds a new tenant. He said that if the current terms of the lease had stayed the same, the store would have remained in the Square.

“I don’t think it was our choice to close,” he said. “If we had been able to continue the lease on the current terms, we would have stayed.”

“I certainly accept and understand their need to find a tenant who will pay that rent and who will have the sales to justify that rent,” he added.

Frequent Flat Patties patrons said they were disappointed to hear about the restaurant’s closing.

Cambridge resident Katie Keane said she is sad to see another inexpensive eatery depart the Square. Chipotle, Qdoba, and Au Bon Pain are some of the restaurants that have closed their doors in 2019.

“I work in Harvard Square, and this was a common place for me to come grab lunch. It’s really one of the best places in Harvard Square because it’s really affordable,” Keane said. “I’m sad to these businesses go.”

Jason Xavier, who works and lives in Cambridge, said he will miss Flat Patties’s convenience.

“It has good service, it has quick service, and it’s right next to the train,” he explained. “I haven’t lived in Cambridge for very long, but I have lived here long enough to see that good things don’t stay that long.”

— Staff writer Ellen M. Burstein can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @ellenburstein.

— Staff writer Sydnie M. Cobb can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @cobbsydnie.

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