This event was over a month ago so the details might be a bit fuzzy, but I do remember it being such a fun evening! Something that I would definitely do again.
The company that runs the crawl is Cambridge Historical Tours; they also organize tours of Harvard Square (for tourists), the Cantabrigia Tours (for locals), Innovations of Cambridge, and Ghost Tours. The company was founded in 2011 by Daniel Berger-Jones and Christopher Schultz who were both players in the Freedom Trail Tours. They decided to take their knowledge and enthusiasm to Cambridge, where they were able to play out the city’s rich history.
Our first stop was to First Printer which, if you are familiar with Harvard Square, was the former home of some of the best ice cream in the area, Herrell’s.
We were given a list of a few drinks to choose from and unfortunately I do not remember what I had. I believe it had bourbon in it though. And citrus, hence the orange peel. The food for this stop was shrimp hushpuppies which were perfectly crisp on the outside and delicious.
We were then introduced to some of our “tour guides” for the evening. Because it was a concierge event, they had a few of their guides to show us around, but a normal tour will usually have one or two. Our guides for the evening included (but were not all) Joe Kelley, Richard Henry Dana, Jr., Francis E. Stanley, Alice Longfellow, Dorothea Dix, and Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.. While I loved that they were able to engage while in their character to share their history, it was nice when they were able to break out and just talk to us as “Chris” or “Daniel”.
After First Printer, we were led down the street to John Harvard’s Brew House. John Harvard’s is your typical American fare restaurant with an ever changing menu of draft beers.
From their selection, I had the Pale Ale which was flavorful and smooth. To eat, they offered us clam chowder. I’m not normally a clam chowder fan but I was up for trying their version. And I am very glad that I did because I loved it! It was probably because it had an overwhelming bacon flavor instead of a clam flavor. Very delicious!
Next up was the Red House restaurant which was housed in a building built in the early 1800s. They kept a lot of the historical character of the house (low ceilings) and opened a patio on to Winthrop Street. I’ve dined here before with David and loved their French inspired menu. For this stop they offered wine or beer (I had white wine), lobster rolls, oysters and cheese/crackers. I stuck to the cheese and crackers.
The two following gentleman are Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. (left) and Francis E. Stanley (right – also cofounder Christopher Schultz).
In addition to telling stories of Cambridge, they also encouraged witty toasts at every stop. My favorite is “Whiskey and bourbon are a man’s worst enemy. But a man who run’s from their enemies is a coward, cheers!”
For our last stop, we ended up at Upstairs on the Square. Another restaurant that I’ve dined at before, I also enjoy the funky décor and delicious menu. My drink of choice for this stop was a Brooklyn Pilsner and I snacked on some thin crust pizzas.
The gentleman on the right is Richard Henry Dana Jr. (cofounder Daniel Berger-Jones). His enthusiasm and storytelling were so incredibly engaging that you couldn’t help but just lean forward and listen to every word he said. You could tell how much they enjoy what they do and probably don’t even consider it a job. When I first met Daniel at a GBCA meeting, he mentioned that when they are looking for people to hire they either have to be actors with a history background, or professors with extreme passion for what they teach. I can tell that all of them have either of those backgrounds.
If you are ever in the Harvard Square neighborhood, I highly recommend attending one of their tours. I would certainly go again.
The concierge tour was complimentary but all opinions are my own.
What is your favorite city tour?