Sunday, May 26, 2024


Pho House is coming to 1790 Massachusetts Ave. with a less funny name than once planned.

Pho House is coming to 1790 Massachusetts Ave. with a less funny name than once planned. (Photo: Marc Levy)

Does Camberville need more ramen? Despite more than a dozen ramen places throughout the cities and even a couple already in Harvard Square (including Wagamama and The Sinclair, which serves a “Southern Ramen”), the international chain Santouka says yes, and that it’ll be serving in place of a former Dunkin’ Donuts in Harvard possibly within a couple of months.

The 60-seat restaurant will be open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. seven days a week at 1 Bow St. as soon as November and as late as January, a representative for manager Jun Yoneda told the License Commission on Tuesday.

“This is a very popular franchise, and there’s been a lot of excitement around its plans to come east and some speculation about New York, Boston, Washington, D.C.,” lawyer James F. McGrail said. “Cambridge has won the battle, so to speak.”

The chain, founded in 1988, has around 50 locations worldwide and only a handful in the United States. Chief Executive Shinichi Kikuta told the Eater website that ramen prices in the area were too high. “It should be a cheap comfort food for you to have with a beer after a long day,” he said, although a California Santouka reached Tuesday gave a range for its meals: between $7 and $15.

The Santouka franchiser has been in the former Dunkin’ site since July 1 and is working on renovations, McGrail said.

“We want to hit the ground running,” he said.

062314i-Nice-shot--Pho-KupIn other Asian restaurant items, on Tuesday the commission approved a name change for the Thai and Vietnamese restaurant replacing Tamarind House at 1790 Massachusetts Ave., near Porter Square. The owners are changing their placeholder name of “DD Restaurant” to “Pho House.”

Why is this even slightly interesting?

Because until Tuesday, the owners planned to call the restaurant the (inadvertently?) funny Pho Kup.