goodbye to a beloved boston institution

12.31.2013

New Year's Eve is always so bitter sweet, isn't it? While we welcome the promise of what's to come, we also bid good bye to the past in hopes of holding on to our memories. 

This rings particularly true in Boston tonight, because as the city celebrates the new year, so will they be saying fair well to over 30 years of good food and fun at a beloved Boston institution, as UpStairs on the Square will go out in style with one last soirée tonight...

UpStairs on the Square

Originally named UpStairs at the Pudding, this festive Harvard Square fixture opened in 1982 and became known as "Harvard's dining room," as it was conveniently located above Harvard's Hasty Pudding, a university social club steeped with a history as rich as the modern-day restaurant's feel and food.

As a result of its relationship with the school and the club, the restaurant has played host to Harvard's Hasty Pudding Theatricals' Man and Woman of the Year dinners, which have honored personalities ranging from Ella Fitzgerald and Clint Eastwood, to Tom Cruise and Julia Roberts. 

UpStairs on the Pudding had also hosted me and my family on many special occasions; not only was the restaurant where we chose to celebrate my high school graduation, but it was also right upstairs from the room in which my parents first laid eyes on each other. Although she was simply a patron at the Hasty Pudding, my mother had somehow found her way behind the bar to help pour drinks...I guess I know where I get it from! ;-) My father--a Harvard student at the time--took notice and the rest was history!

UpStairs at the Pudding reached far beyond the Harvard community, and even the Boston community, and became famous for its delectable menu and flamboyant decor. Owners Mary Catherine Deibel and Deborah Hughes explain their vision: "We founded our first restaurant UpStairs at the Pudding in 1982 because we loved giving dinner parties, and we've never stopped thinking of our restaurant as an excuse to host a wonderful soiree every night. Our hospitality--dispensed liberally and happily--is meant to foster a sense of gaiety, of festivity, of well-being--for guest and staff alike. You know--just like at a fabulous dinner party!" 

When the restaurant moved to its current location in 2002 and became known as UpStairs on the Square, its patrons followed and the party continued:

UpStairs on the Square
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Famous for being the perfect place to host a feminine party or shower, I had always dreamt of having my bridal shower in their new Harvard Square space, but alas it had already been booked when my poor maid of honor called almost six months ahead of time! Despite the demand, the restaurant has recently been faced with some challenges stemming from various circumstances, and Deibel and Hughes have decided to close its doors and move on. So if you haven't been lucky enough to dine among the stylish decor at UpStairs on the Square, stay tuned for the duo's future endeavors!

Hughes is responsible for the fabulous decor that fills the restaurants three distinct dining rooms. The main dining room, called the Soirée Dining Room, is reminiscent of a colorful jewel box...

UpStairs on the Square
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UpStairs on the Square
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UpStairs on the Square
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With fireplaces at both ends of the Soirée Dining Room, Bostonians could keep cozy during the city's blustery winters:

UpStairs on the Square
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UpStairs on the Square
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UpStairs on the Square
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The perfect place for a party!:

UpStairs on the Square
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Gold and plaid accents adorn the green walls of the restaurant's less formal Monday Club Bar dining room:

UpStairs on the Square
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UpStairs on the Square
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But I have saved the best for last! In the Zebra Room off of the Monday Club Bar, Scalamandré fuschia zebras adorn the walls!:

UpStairs on the Square
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UpStairs on the Square
image via

UpStairs on the Square
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So we bid a sad goodbye to UpStairs on the Square, and offer our thanks for the many fabulous memories...and dining room decor.

UpStairs on the Square
image via

Enjoy and Happy New Year!

Emilie

You can learn more about the restaurant here, as well as its closure here.

4 comments:

sharon smith said...

What amazing decor! I would have loved to have had a party there. Sorry to see it close. Loving the pink walls.
Sharon

Emilie ShellAndChinoiserie said...

Everything about it is/was so fabulous! Boo to closing!

Andrea said...

Soooo sad!!! Those fabulous fuchsia Scalamandre Zebras can come live with me, if they are looking for a new home!! What a charming restaurant. And I love the adorable story about your parents. :)

XOXO,
The Glam Pad

Emilie ShellAndChinoiserie said...

I was heartbroken to learn they were closing, but luckily the social club in which my parents met is still there! I seriously lay in bed at night thinking about those zebras and wondering who could ever cover them up (gasp!). I am headed back to Boston next week--may need to do a little recon! ;)

 
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