The news of Harvard University’s Smith Campus Center’s renovation has been out for a while now — the initial announcement happened way back in 2013 — but with construction nearing its completion, more details are trickling out about the food vendors that will populate the building at 1350 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge. It’s a solid lineup.
A few local restaurants and restaurant groups were already announced over the last few months, such as Bon Me, Pavement Coffeehouse, Swissbäkers, and Whole Heart Provisions, the latter of which is also expanding to Cambridge’s Central Square. Oggi Gourmet, a tenant of the building prior to renovations, is also slated to return to the campus center.
The newest additions to the list were recently revealed by the Harvard Gazette alongside a detailed floor plan of the building’s first floor food court: Harvard students and other visitors to the neighborhood will also be able to enjoy Boston-area stalwarts Blackbird Doughnuts (a doughnut shop) and Saloniki (fast-casual Greek) there as well, as soon as autumn 2018. This will be the third location for each; Blackbird is in Boston’s South End and Fenway, while Saloniki is in Fenway and Cambridge’s Central Square. A representative for Blackbird was not immediately available for comment (see update below), and Saloniki declined to comment to Eater on the upcoming expansion.
According to the Gazette, planners of the Smith Campus Center renovations — who’d met on several occasions over the past few years with students, faculty, and the community — said that vendors had to meet four criteria: They had to be sustainable, local, healthy, and diverse.
The Harvard Crimson reported in October that the renovated Smith Center would also feature a bar “for Harvard affiliates” on the top floor — a “‘flexible’ common space where students and faculty members can informally gather during the day and evening” with reservable “semi-private lounge spaces” (and a couple fireplaces).
The first floor food vendors’ lease negotiations are wrapped up, and all have secured their respective zoning approvals, per the Gazette. Keep an eye out for their debut in Harvard Square this coming fall along with other 2018 openings slated for the neighborhood, including &Pizza x Milk Bar (1394 Massachusetts Ave.), a partnership between a DC-based pizza chain and New York’s well-known dessert group; Amorino (50 JFK St.), a gelato shop; Zambrero (71 Mt. Auburn St.), an Australia-based burrito chain; and the Longfellow Bar at Alden & Harlow (40 Brattle St.)
Update, 2/16/18: Per a representative for Blackbird Doughnuts who contacted Eater via email, this location is not yet a done deal. This post will be updated as new information becomes available.