Famous Cambridge Club Planned To Be Demolished, Replaced With 6-Story Hotel
Popular music venue The Middle East in Cambridge may be forced to shut down soon after plans were filed to demolish the building for a new development.
Sater Realty LLC, the entity managed by building owner the Sater family, is planning a six-story hotel to take the venue's place, according to documents posted by the Cambridge Historical Commission. The commission had planned to take up the plans Thursday, but the developer requested to postpone it, likely until October, Cambridge Day first reported.
The plans call for the demolition of the one-story building at 6 Brookline St. in Central Square, making way for a 54K SF building that would feature 100 hotel rooms. It would also include a more than 4K SF music venue that might remain as the "Middle East," according to the plans.
The plans also feature ground-floor retail, plus a restaurant and bar with a deck on the sixth floor of the hotel.
The Sater family is working with real estate developer Patrick Barrett, who in 2020 opened another hotel in Central Square named 907 Main Hotel.
If the proposed development passes through the historical commission, it will still need to go before the Cambridge Planning Board and get approval from the city to demolish the cultural institution, according to the Boston Business Journal.
The Sater family purchased the property in 2014 for $7.1M. Prior to the acquisition closing, the family had proposed changes to the property in 2013, when they filed plans for an addition of four or five stories of condominiums above the club, but that idea was later abandoned.
In January 2020, the family put the property — consisting of The Middle East, the ZuZu restaurant at 472-480 Massachusetts Ave. and Sonia on 10 Brookline St. — up for sale. At the time, the property was marketed as a space for a high-rise lab building and was estimated to sell for $40M. The listing was later taken off the market after no sale took place.
The Middle East opened in 1969 and was originally a restaurant that featured belly-dancing and Middle Eastern music, according to Cambridge Day. Under the guidance of promoter Billy Ruane, the venue veered toward rock 'n' roll, and it has since become a well-known destination in the region.