Saturday, May 25, 2024

I read with nostalgia about the so-called “first” European-style cafe in Cambridge, which reminded me of the many unique places and people there (“Eliodora ‘Josefina’ Yanguas Perez opened Harvard Square’s first European-style café,” Aug. 22). Although I frequented Bow street, I don’t recall the Spanish cafe.

My nostalgia is for a French coffee shop that predated Café Pamplona. My best memory is that it served café au lait and pastries and was called Chez Gabrielle. An artist classmate and friend created the sign for it, a painting of a rooster. We were still in high school at Cambridge High and Latin, so that was before 1954. I used to sit at a table outside the shop at the foot of the stairs drinking cafe au lait and eating a pastry, reading a French novel.

Looking at a current map, it may well have occupied the cellar space, now the site of the Black Sheep Bagel at what is now 56 JFK St.

Jerry Halberstadt, Peabody