Clover confirms coming to Central Square with hopes of being city’s 24-hour eatery
Clover Food Lab is the confirmed next tenant for 496 Massachusetts Ave., Central Square – the space that was Hi-Fi Pizza for more than 45 years until the landlord ousted the eatery abruptly in March.
But will the space carry on Hi-Fi’s late-night legacy? Hi-Fi was long the spot for music fans hungry after closing out shows at Central Square nightclubs such as The Middle East and T.T. the Bear’s Place. It was open until 3 a.m. Thursdays through Saturdays and until 2 a.m. most other nights.
“We’d love to,” Clover founder and Chief Executive Ayr Muir said Tuesday after a License Commission hearing.
In fact, he said, he’d like to run a 24-hour restaurant at that location. It would be the city’s only 24-hour eatery, since the Gourmet Express in Porter Square closed in early April.
He would need approval of the License Commission, he said, and would explore the idea further as the 1,405-square-foot space came closer to being another storefront for the healthy, vegetarian fast-food chain. On Wednesday he told Eater that an opening in Central Square might come as early as July or as late as October. The chain has five restaurants, three in Cambridge, and seven food trucks – two of which, as of Tuesday’s commission hearing, are approved for Cambridge.
The hearing was for a Clover food truck at 32-34-36 Cambridgepark Drive, serving business park workers in the Alewife neighborhood. The truck can operate Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., commissioners said.
In a blog post Wednesday, Muri said:
I love Central Square. I have for a lot of my life at this point. And I’ve always felt pretty defensive of Central … Central is definitely dirtier than other squares in Cambridge. It’s a hodge-podge of businesses. Not all of those businesses are high end. Okay, maybe none of them. There’s nothing sanitized about the Central Square experience. And I think this aspect of Central is probably what I find myself defending. Central feels less like Boston, more like New York. And like New York it’s a beautiful, if messy, collision of different types of people from different walks of life. And there is something invigorating about that. Central has room for everybody and I’ve always loved that egalitarianism at work.