What Should Go in the Old Urban Outfitters Space?

By Courtesy of Mike Mozart

This past January, Urban Outfitters — formerly located in between Sweetgreen and the Curious George store — closed down. Its absence left a hole in the hearts of countless hipsters and an even larger one on JFK Street of Harvard Square. In light of this, we set out to gauge what Harvard freshmen really want to see move in. Here’s what we found:

An overwhelming majority of freshmen called for more restaurant options in the Square:

“I’d have to say a restaurant of some kind, Chick-fil-A would be nice if they could make it work, maybe an ice cream place. Honestly just food, I’m more of a food guy than like a clothes guy” commented Connor S. Dowd ’22.

Many freshmen agreed, including Britteny C. Okorom-Achuonye ’22 who said, “I want to see more affordable dining, like cheaper restaurants.”

Caroline A. Conway ’22 added to the restaurant chorus, saying, “I’d really like it if it was some kind of food cafeteria style place, like how Boston Public Market is. I feel like a lot of healthier, cheaper food options would be very nice.”

One freshman did not want to stray too far from already well-established favorites like Santouka. “I think the Urban Outfitters store should be a ramen place,” said Hayato Shiotsu ’22.

Others called for more basic food sources, like grocery stores and co-ops:

Tyler T. Johnston ’22, a Crimson FM editor, had a creative idea to increase access to fresh produce, saying, “I think a community farming co-op would be really cool, where students can go and get decently priced, organic, sustainable food.”

Some just wanted a basic grocery store, like Nathaniel B. Liberman ’22, who said, “In that space a grocery store like a Whole Foods would be very nice.”

Kyle O. Fridberg ’22 agreed, calling for “an affordable grocery store because there just aren’t that many [cheap] options in Harvard Square and just generally near Harvard for reasonably priced food.”

A few brave souls ventured outside of food-related options:

Iyabo B. Awogboro ‘22 wanted “something activity-based so maybe like an escape room or bowling alley — something we could go out and do without having to go all the way into Boston.”

Instead of entertainment, one freshman wanted to see retail come in. Samantha C. O’Sullivan ’22 said, “In the Urban space I’d like to see a thrift store with really cheap clothes.”

And some freshmen were simply done with the closure saga entirely:

James T. Devaney ’22, one such freshman, stated, “I am completely ambivalent.” Looks like anything but an empty space will do.

While we may still be mourning the loss of a place to buy last-minute clothing and birthday presents, we can look forward to something new on the horizon. Here’s to hoping that some of the wishes of the class of 2022 are granted.

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