Cambridge mainstay Grafton Street returns from hiatus at new location

The restaurant is opening on JFK Street in Harvard Square. This will be the eatery’s third address since it opened in 1996.

Cambridge restaurant Grafton Street, which temporarily closed its doors in March 2020 due the COVID-19 pandemic, is now reopening at a new location in Harvard Square. Courtesy

A Cambridge restaurant that temporarily closed its doors in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic is now reopening at a new location in Harvard Square.

Grafton Street, which serves up New American cuisine designed for sharing, will now run at 59 JFK St., where a sister restaurant, Park, formerly operated. This will be the eatery’s third address since it opened in 1996.

“We’re beyond thrilled and honestly, a little relieved, that we were able to figure out a way to bring Grafton Street back to Harvard Square,” said Patrick Lee, owner of The Grafton Group. “The original Grafton Street was our very first restaurant; 26 years later, it remains the heart and soul of our company, regardless of its street address.” 


The restaurant is one of hundreds of Boston-area eateries to either pause or permanently close due to the pandemic. According to The Boston Globe, about 20 percent of Massachusetts restaurants have closed for good since March 2020, when indoor dining was initially banned.

In July 2021, Lee told the Cambridge Day that restaurant management didn’t post news of the hiatus on their social media or website because they didn’t have a firm timeline on when they would reopen. 

About a month after its March 2020 closing, restaurant management tweeted that they’d joined a statewide recovery push, and asked supporters to contact state leaders to advocate for shuttered restaurants.

“As COVID-19 began affecting our state, we joined #MARestaurantsUnited, with over 500 independent restaurant owners fighting to keep our lights on. Show your support by contacting your elected officials & ask them to make sure restaurants are a top priority during relief efforts.”

Recently, Grafton Street’s Facebook has been sharing news of their move, and what management is calling a #GraftonGlowUp, with fans celebrating its return.

“I’m so happy to hear that Grafton Street will live on!” commented one fan, on a post advertising its new JFK Street spot.


“Lookin Good! Miss Grafton St. Much love and luck!” said another.

Bartender Paul Barry, who has been with the restaurant since it first opened, will be back behind the bar, according to management. Chef Tom Borgia, formerly an executive chef at Russell House Tavern and State Street Provisions, joins Grafton Street’s kitchen as executive chef. 

Named after the cobblestone-lined shopping district in Dublin’s Temple Bar District, Grafton Street offers big and small plates, with dishes like poached duck egg carbonara spaghetti, salt cod fritters, salmon poke, and — an Irish staple — fish and chips. 

The restaurant also boasts a list of creative and “labor-intensive” craft cocktails, as well as beers on tap and a wine menu.


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