After serving Thai food in Harvard Square for more than two decades, Spicies will shutter its doors in the coming weeks, making way for Boston Ramen Co. to occupy the Holyoke St. space.
Boston Ramen Co. will join Japanese ramen chains Menya Jiro, which opened in July, and Santouka in the Square.
Mario Srithipwong, a manager at Spicies for two years, confirmed Thursday that the restaurant would close soon. Srithipwong, who said he learned two weeks ago about the closing, said the restaurant was expensive to maintain, citing real estate and ingredient expenses.
Srithipwong also said Spicies was understaffed, a pervasive problem in the restaurant industry since the onset of the pandemic.
“We can’t find more staff to work in the restaurant, we can’t find more cooks, we can’t find more who can work [as] dishwashers,” he added. “We tried. We tried to find more staff.”
The imminent departure of Spicies will leave Nine Tastes as the sole source of Thai food in the Square.
Yasuhiro Sasago, principal owner of Boston Ramen Co., said the new business will be a “modern Japanese restaurant” that will offer ramen noodles alongside side dishes like sushi.
At a Cambridge License Commission meeting in August, Adam Barnosky, an attorney representing Boston Ramen Co., described the company’s plans for the new restaurant.
“The use and operation is very similar to the prior restaurant that was on site,” he said at the meeting. “It has similar hours, seating, and anticipated customer base. There will be some aesthetic changes to the restaurant, but no major construction.”
The License Commission unanimously approved the transfer of the restaurant’s beer and wine license to Boston Ramen Co. The state Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission must confirm the transfer of the license before the new ramen store can open.
Students who frequented Spicies shared fond experiences they had at the restaurant.
Joshua Lui ’22 said he dined with a high school mentor at the restaurant.
“It wasn’t really premeditated or anything, but I saw one of my old high school mentors who ended up getting a job in Boston, so we ended up eating there one night,” he said.
Lui added that he looks forward to dining at the new ramen restaurant.
Griffin H. Wong ’24, a Crimson sports editor, described Spicies' closing as “unfortunate.”
“They were very kind to me after somebody took my order inadvertently, making me a new one and even letting me go back to the kitchen to watch, despite it being after hours,” he wrote.
—Staff writer Tracy Jiang can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @_tracyjiang_.
—Staff writer Davin W. Shi can be reached at email@example.com.