A restaurant space in Cambridge’s Inman Square that was long home to a Southern-style restaurant, and briefly to a Tex-Mex pop-up, will soon have a new permanent resident. Richards is set to open on October 2 (with a limited menu, followed by more of a grand opening the next day) at 1193 Cambridge St., the former Tupelo space, where it will serve new American dishes with a heavy emphasis on scratch cooking.
Owners Sarah and Richard Graham III — the restaurant’s pastry chef and chef, respectively — have a vast history in the Cambridge area. Richards is just down the street from Richard “Dickie” Graham Jr. Square, named for Graham’s father. The Graham family is full of Richards, including the Grahams’ 18-month-old son (the fourth of his name). After a few years spent in Chicago and Seattle, the Grahams have returned to the area, each bringing more than 15 years of experience in the food service industry.
Richard Graham had previously worked at Tupelo, as had Richards chef de cuisine Ilger Cakuli, and the Grahams’ personal relationship with Tupelo’s owners resulted in their eventual purchasing of the space. The Tupelo space initially sat empty following the restaurant’s closure in October 2018 before briefly housing the Tex Mex Eats pop-up.
Now, the Grahams are ready to start the next life cycle for the restaurant space. Their legacy in the neighborhood has shaped their vision for the restaurant itself, Richard Graham told Eater.
“Lots of neighborhood people have just been walking in, introducing themselves, and hanging out,” Graham said.
The duo aims to open a restaurant that’s comforting and affordable, serving quality food in an environment that’s friendly to families and wallets. Everything is made from scratch in the restaurant — from the ketchup and sauces to the ice cream and hand-rolled pasta. While the Grahams are still working to finalize pieces of the menu for opening, sample dishes include oven-roasted chicken with asparagus; romanesco with spiced almond, burrata, and red pepper puree; and trofie pasta with fried pork belly.
“Nerves are going crazy, in a good way,” Graham said. The exact timing of the opening will depend on scheduling inspections with the city, but the team is already getting acquainted with the neighborhood anew, and the opening is imminent.
When it does open, Richards will serve dinner Tuesday through Thursday from 5:30 to 10 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 5 to 10:30 p.m. It will be closed Sunday and Monday. The Grahams may consider adding brunch down the line.
Update, October 2, 2019: This article has been updated to include a specific opening date.
• A New Restaurant Is Moving Into the Old Tupelo Space — and It’s Named After a Family With Deep Cambridge Roots [Boston.com]
• Richards Is Opening in the Former Tex Mex Eats/Tupelo Space in Cambridge’s Inman Square [BRT]
• Richards [Official Site]
• Richards [Instagram]