The verdict is so far, so good: Foot traffic increases into the wee hours, and it's hopping at 12:30 a.m., according to Muir. Not all guests are necessarily sober at that hour, but he said the store hasn't had to deal with much belligerence. "We had one person fall asleep in here we had to roust, but I don’t think we’ve had to call the police yet – and the truth is that many urban restaurants even in daylight hours will have people come in who are not [sober] and you’ll have to take care of it," he told the website.
The late-night sales have been strong at Clover HFI, which Muir said is what he expected. Last summer, when he asked to the Cambridge licensing board for permission to stay open around the clock, Muir said he wanted more late-night refueling options in Cambridge when he was an MIT student. A condition of Clover HFI's license is that Muir reappear before the board three months in to assess how everything is going.
Board members who voted against allowing 24-hour operation expressed fears of unruly people streaming in from the clubs. But in reality, Muir said customers who arrive drunk have generally been sweet. The Day, which has previously published its support of a 24-hour Clover, suggests in yesterday's article that the healthy, fast-food menu may be a surreal hangover deterrent. So far, weeknight diners are often tourists used to eating later. As the school year starts up again, Muir said he believes a studious crowd will discover the place. "It’s probably going to be less people’s image of drunk and disorderly and more like a nerdy coffee shop at night," he surmised.
Muir said the 24-hour concept would work well at existing Clover locations in Harvard and Kendall squares. But the company's first priorities include opening two Boston proper locations, one on Newbury Street and one in Copley Square. Eventually, Clover will expand to Washington, D.C., too. More late-night public transportation options would encourage Clover and other businesses to increase dining options locally, Muir added.