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Grafton Group to Expand Harvard Square Empire With an Oyster Bar

The yet unnamed restaurant will take over the old Herrell's Ice Cream space, which has briefly been home to a couple other restaurants.

Kennedy's on the Square
Kennedy's on the Square

The short-lived Kennedy's on the Square space in Harvard Square — previously home to First Printer, and Herrell's Ice Cream before that — will become home to a new 90-seat restaurant by the Grafton Group, reported Boston Restaurant Talk yesterday, citing information in the agenda for an upcoming Cambridge Licensing Commission hearing.

The group confirmed the news today, putting out a statement saying that it is "actively involved in securing a space for a new restaurant concept at 15 Dunster St." The restaurant, which will be a "vibrant oyster bar," according to the statement, doesn't have an official name yet and is temporarily being referred to as "Dunster Restaurant."

"New England is full of world class oyster bars, and we are excited to bring one to the center of the neighborhood we’ve called home for nearly twenty years," said Grafton Group co-owner Patrick Lee via the statement. The group also owns a handful of other restaurants in the square: Grafton Street, Temple Bar, Russell House Tavern, and PARK. State Street Provisions will open across the river this fall, in the former City Landing space near the New England Aquarium.

The upcoming Harvard Square restaurant will serve lunch and dinner every day, and it will have a "robust" takeout program.

UPDATE, 9/30/15: The restaurant is aiming for a late spring 2016 opening, reports Cambridge Day, and the menu could include dishes like a seafood tower, clam chowder, lobster bisque, a lobster roll, broiled bluefish, and more.

UPDATE, 8/10/16: It will be called The Hourly.