The spirit of Harvard Square’s Café Pamplona invoked for the cafe and bookstore around the corner


The home of the future Faro Café on Arrow Street, seen in 2020. (Photo: Google)

Café Pamplona, ​​which closed in May 2020 after six decades in Harvard Square, is inspiring another business around the corner: Faro Café at 5 Arrow St., which owner Henry Hoffstot hopes to open in late June or early July.

The cafe and bookstore revolve around community, climate change and climate justice, Hoffstot told licensing commissioners on Thursday.

“We’re trying to create a space where we of course sell coffee, but we also promote conversation and have a sort of Café Pamplona-style place where people can go and talk,” said Hoffstot, a newcomer to Cambridge. . Live music and ‘sporadic’ lectures are offered to accompany drinks and a simple menu that could be served without having to add a kitchen.

“I just wish I had the ability on a nice afternoon to be able to provide live music to go along with the coffee sitting outside,” Hoffstot said.

Inside, the roughly 800 square foot space would be comfortable, seating some 24 people in two rooms that were once the Hair Theory Studio. (The beauty salon closed Aug. 28 and moved to Belmont.) But the brick sidewalk outside the rustic triple-story would provide seating for nearly 50 other people at wooden tables, according to plans shown to city ​​inspectors.

An admittedly “ambitious” construction schedule could see the Faro Café ready to open within six to eight weeks, Hoffstot said, while current plans call for it to serve between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. There would be no entertainment on the terrace before 2 p.m., according to the licenses granted last week. The business will operate opposite whatever is happening to replace the Oberon performance space – which could be another entertainment venue.

Cafe Pamplona, ​​an off-the-beaten-track Harvard Square bistro that opened in 1959 and survived waves of soaring house prices, has closed at 12 Bow St. as the oldest cafe space. It has since become the home of Harvard’s Bee Club.


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