Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Greater Boston Area >
May 2, 2014 04:56 PM

Which Boston-Cambridge restaurants have been around since the 1980s?

If I wanted to take a trip in the wayback machine and revisit Boston in the 1980s, where should I dine? I'm not talking OLD like the Union Oyster House, just kind of go-go, stockbroker 1980s.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. when you say stockbroker 80s, do you mean expense-account kinds of places? old-school fancy like maison robert and locke-ober are both long gone. restaurants with expensive, inventive food that dragged boston out of the culinary dark ages, like jasper's and biba, are gone as well.

    there are plenty of scuzzy college hangs like maryann's, grendel's and t's pub that remain, but even places like the bristol lounge and ritz have been remodeled and the menus totally changed.

    hammersley's opened in the late 80s, but never had that kind of vibe.

    6 Replies
    1. re: hotoynoodle

      Not stockbroker 1980's, but Mary Chung's in Cambridge and Il Panino in North End have been around since then.

      1. re: Uncle Yabai

        Mary Chung's closed for a while, then reopened a few doors down.

        1. re: chuck s

          Didn't Mary Chung's start out on Main Street, where Royal East is now?

          1. re: Allstonian

            I think I remember MC as being across the street on The intersection of Mass/Main.???

            1. re: 9lives

              Google is my friend - I was thinking of the long-gone Colleen's, which *was* in the Royal East space. There is a connection, though: Mary Chung worked at Colleen's, and took a number of recipes with her (including the suan la chow show) when she opened her own place.

              1. re: 9lives

                Right, where the blood testing lab is now, between the McDonalds and the couple of restaurants in the plaza built out from the detritus of the gas station.

        1. re: Luther

          Started in 1981, IIRC. I have a cookbook signed by Chris Schlesinger where he noted 1980, but I recall pointing out to him the year was 1981.

        2. The Border Cafe has been open in Harvard Square since the late '80s.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Kat

            Yeah, the Border Cafe opened in '87, as I recall. Too bad they took my favorite dish of theirs (it was fried catfish in a pungent brown sauce) off the menu.

            1. re: Kenji

              That was my favorite too! I think it was the catfish Meuniere.

          2. the Harvest, Marliave, Casa Romero, Hungry I, Sol Azteca,
            Sakurabana, Ristorante Lucia

            3 Replies
            1. re: opinionatedchef

              those places have been open a long time but were they ever places that catered to expense account guys looking to blow a wad of bonus money?

              1. re: hotoynoodle

                Harvest may have been.As a college senior, I was told I needed to pay $20 in 1977 to go to a dinner with some college professors. $20 was so out of sight for me then. Harvest was the only fine dining spot in Cambridge at that time. And into the early 80's at least.

                1. re: Madrid

                  Yep, the Harvest is the first place that comes to mind. I was part of the Harvard crowd back then, and it was the go-to place for all of us for special occasions.

            2. Swank, are you looking for restaurants that havebeen in biz since the 80s or places where the financial industry crowd used to go in the 80s?