Harvard Square will soon be welcoming Wusong Road, a newly established Chinese-American restaurant and tiki bar under the direction of Chef Jason Doo and Thomas Brush, the owner of Felipe’s Taqueria.
Wusong Road is aiming for a “late fall” opening at 112 Mt. Auburn St., the historic building that used to be the French restaurant Les Sablons, Doo said in an interview. The new restaurant is located near Flour Bakery and the Harvard Square Hotel.
Doo said the restaurant had been in the works for a long time. He added that while he and his business partners formulated the business idea before the pandemic, the rise in anti-Asian sentiments during Covid-19 motivated them to postpone the opening.
Doo said the team envision Wusong’s first floor operating as a “rice plate” restaurant – offering specialties like Chinese-style fried meats like pork, duck and chicken at an affordable price.
“We are actually importing an Imperial-style Peking duck oven,” he said. “We’re going to try to keep everything at that $ 10 price point so everyone can eat there.”
Doo also said he hopes the second floor – for customers 21 and older – will be a place for local residents to relax after work.
Denise A. Jillson, president of the Harvard Square Business Association, said Square businesses and customers “look forward to welcoming Wusong Road”.
“Getting this building back on is really important for this particular area of Harvard Square that tends to be pretty quiet,” said Jillson.
Doo – who noted that the cuisine on offer in Wusong will not “necessarily be traditional Chinese food” but rather a nod to his childhood Chinese-American cuisine in Malden, Massachusetts – said he hoped to serve the type of food that he likes to eat.
“I no longer feel like I have to prove myself with a ten-course tasting menu,” added Doo, who used to work as a chef at the upscale French restaurant Menton in Boston. “It’s, ‘Hey, I really love this food. I’ll put my life story on a plate. ‘”
Several Harvard students said they were unhappy with the current Chinese offerings on the square, a void that Wusong could fill.
Nicholas Y. Gu ’24, who has dined at the Hong Kong restaurant in the past, said many college students, including himself, visit the place “out of necessity” because it is one of the few Chinese restaurants nearby of the campus is.
Gu said he would like to see more authentic Chinese cuisine in the square, citing another restaurant – Dumpling House – as tasty but impractical due to its relatively remote location.
“I would like to see Chinese food. The closest restaurant that is kind of good is Dumpling House, and even that is a 15 minute walk away and tucked away in a corner, ”he said. “So having only one option would be really great.”
Unaware of Wusong Road entering the square, Gu called it a “numbing revelation.”
“I’m very excited,” said Gu.
Doo said he hopes Wusong Road can open quickly so that Cambridge residents and visitors to the Square have another dining option in colder weather.
“We’d really like to open up and offer that escapism in a tropical style bar during the cold New England winters,” he said.
—The employee Vivian Zhao can be reached at [email protected]