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Sep 19, 2009 01:09 PM

Mr. Bartley's Burgers, Cambridge

My wife and I really enjoyed our burgers there yesterday but were wondering: Doesn't Massachusetts require sit down restaurants to have restrooms? At the very least, it would be nice of them to put bottles of hand sanitizer on the tables with the ketchup and mustard. Sorry if this has been covered elsewhere.


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  1. The lack of facilities in Bartley's has always been a bummer. But I don't get the connection between no bathroom and your desire for hand sanitizer. Because having hand sanitizer on a restaurant table would definitely be creepy.

    5 Replies
    1. re: katzzz

      Perhaps jimingso may want to wash his hands before eating...

      1. re: PinchOfSalt

        I knew there were no facilities, so we washed our hands before we got there . But several other diners wanted to wash theirs and were uncomfortable. What's creepy is eating burgers with dirty hands. So Mass. has no such law?

        BTW, I saw a couple of people pull out their own sanitizers.


        1. re: jimingso

          I would guess that even if there were such laws, places like Bartley's would be grandfathered out of complying.

          1. re: jessieinbelmont

            Jessie has it right. Any new construction and any significant renovation must include bathroom faciilities and handicap access. This has been the law for decades, but Bartley's has been around even longer - with no reservations. For me, this is part of the appeal - Bartley's is one of the few places in Harvard Square which is much like it was well over 40 years ago.

        2. re: PinchOfSalt

          Thanks for the idea, will bring sanitizer next time!

      2. Or you can just go next door to the Dunkin' Donuts or Grafton Street or the Hong Kong to wash your hands there.

        1. I mentioned this in a note in March--I don't get how a restaurant can NOT have restrooms --at the very least sinks for washing....with signs that restaurant emplyees MUST wash hands...
          Wonder how on earth this passes health inspectors...

          4 Replies
          1. re: fogfog

            I'm certain that it has a handwash sink for staff, and probably an employee-only restroom as well, that is not open to the public for whatever reason.

            In the 80s I worked at the Coffee Connection in the Garage in Harvard Square. The only restrooms there were the building ones, down in the basement of the Garage - there was no restroom in the cafe itself. The basement restrooms were not open to the public at that time, and frankly didn't even seem safe for staff - they were filthy and there was a persistent rumor that a male security guard routinely trespassed in the women's room. I avoided using them whenever I could, and certainly didn't want to send my customers down there!

            1. re: fogfog

              Don't panic - there are sinks and a restroom in back for the staff - otherwise, you're right, it wouldn't pass inspection.

              1. re: gansu girl

                I think the law was that a restaurant only had to have bathrooms for the public if they served alcohol. I used to work in some ice cream shops that had no public facilities. I don't know if the law has changed. There is also some regulation on a city by city basis.

                1. re: pemma

                  I'm going to guess that Bartley's has been grandfathered in, that all new restaurants have to offer public facilities. The Greenhouse, for example, also had no bathrooms, but Tory Row added them, at no small cost to its available dining space.