Cambridge pub The People’s Republik has permanently closed

The communist-inspired bar debuted in 1997.

The People's Republik, which opened in 1997 featuring communist-inspired décor, will not reopen.

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Cantabrigians have lost yet another watering hole during the coronavirus pandemic.

According to The Boston Globe, The People’s Republik, a cozy pub located at 876-878 Massachusetts Ave. in Cambridge, has closed for good.

“We had a good run,” owner Robert Blair told the Globe on Sunday. “I’m not happy that we’re closing, but I can look back at those 23 years with pride and a lot of love for the people.”

Blair, who previously bartended at the Plough and Stars before opening The People’s Republik in 1997, told the publication that his staff was informed of the closure a week ago, and that he plans to retire this month.


“It’s hard to let it go now,” he said.

The People’s Republik announced a temporary closure on Dec. 4, stating that “At this time, for the safety of our staff and guests, we have decided to close for the time being. We sincerely hope to be back shortly, but some things still remain out of our control. Please keep on eye on our social media for updates.”

As of Jan. 13, the Russian communist-themed bar was still selling merchandise on its site.

Its theme was a major sticking point when the bar first opened. When the owners took over Drumlin’s Pub in 1997 with the idea to rename it The People’s Republik, the Cambridge License Commission initially rejected the name. According to The Harvard Crimson, Richard V. Scali, the commission’s executive officer, said the name was “inappropriate and offensive to people who had fought in the Korean War, World War II, or any war.” The name was eventually approved, and red walls and Soviet propaganda posters graced the bar’s interior.

The closure of The People’s Republik marks yet another lost for Cambridge’s pub scene, with the recent shutter of The Field Pub, Bukowski Tavern, Flat Top Johnny’s, and others.

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