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New storefronts set to bring change to Thayer landscape

Owner of Shark and Shanghai will open a third restaurant, but cuisine remains a mystery

Contributing Writer
Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The Thayer Street Cleansers and Launderers space is in the process of being revamped into a new restaurant, to be opened by the owner of Shark Bar and Grille and Shanghai Restaurant. The new restaurant is one of several changes on Thayer, including the impending closure of Shades Plus.

After the closing of Tedeschi Food Shop in 2012 and Symposium Books, Sahara Hookah and Squires Salon — among others — in 2013, Thayer Street is continuing to see business turnover. A new restaurant will soon occupy the space that used to house Thayer Street Cleansers and Launderers between Angell Street and Fones Alley, while Shades Plus will soon close its doors and leave its property vacant.

David Boutros, co-owner of Shark Bar and Grille and Shanghai Restaurant, will open the new restaurant, though he declined to provide details as to the type of food it will serve. “We’re keeping it confidential,” he said.

Boutros said he and business partner Ray Hugh are eager to take advantage of the space that became available when Thayer Street Cleansers and Launderers closed its doors after its owner “just got tired” after 40 years in business.

Tealuxe manager Amie Kesson said she is not concerned about the new restaurant detracting from her business through increased competition, but she said she is worried “that (the new restaurant’s) food is going to make our place smell.”

Au Bon Pain manager Mahamet Ba also said he is not concerned about competition. “I don’t think it’s going to affect us at all,” he said of the new eatery.

Students expressed excitement about a new eating option close to campus. “There are already so many restaurants on Thayer, but still, it’s nice to see something new,” said Tassos Sapalidis ’18.

Asia Nelson ’15 said she enjoys when new restaurants open up on Thayer because campus food can “get boring,” but, she added, “I would like to see more convenience stores open up and let students have more options.”

While many students interviewed were happy about the new restaurant, the closing of costume and novelty shop Shades Plus — which is currently selling all its inventory — provoked disappointment.

“I love Shades Plus. I’m so sad that it’s closing,” said Jessica Zambrano ’17. At Shades Plus, students would often purchase “random stuff, like fake mustaches,” for fun or special holiday occasions, added Zambrano, a Herald contributing writer.

Donna Personeus, executive director for Thayer Street District Management, said despite recent closures, businesses are working as a team to keep the area vibrant. “Business is a cycle — it comes and goes,” Personeus said. “We’re changing, we’re evolving, and it’s all positive.”

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  1. Another restaurant. Just what Thayer needs. Well on its way to a food court.

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