Hayes-Bickford Cafeteria


approx. 1938 – 1970


1326 Massachusetts Ave., Harvard Square






The Hayes-Bickford franchise existed in the area since the 1930s (on Mass. Ave. and Main Sts. in Central Square), but its Harvard location was one of the more memorable. Along with others like Waldorf Cafeteria and Hazen's, The Bick was one of the greasy spoons of choice for hungry students, city workers, musicians, and all walks of late night coffee drinkers. Woolworth's wasn't the only diner to encounter the racial tensions of the sixties. In 1964 Hayes-Bickford was picketed against for its "negro hiring policy", with the CORE-sponsored demonstration eventually leading to the arrest of 27 people. Furthermore, a discrimination lawsuit was filed but thrown out the same year by two Nigerian students who were treated disrespectfully as patrons. In 1970, a Shakespearean-themed eatery named As You Like It, replete with servers in period uniforms, took over 1326 Mass Ave. At the date of this survey (2010), the space is inhabited by the Chinese restaurant Yenching. Also see our Folk Music Tour

Photo by Gavin Kleespies