Richard Ning

Man with dark hair and dark shirt

Richard is a third-generation Cantabrigian who grew up in the Oxford Street area during the 1960s and ’70s. He is the grandson of Loy Lee Wong, who owned the Young Lee Restaurant, an establishment the family operated in Harvard Square from the 1920s until the 1950s. Richard’s father, Fong Pun Ning, served during World War…

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Stephen T. Chen

Man in a plaid shirt and jacket standing outside

Stephen Chen was born in Cambridge to Thomas and Joyce Chen in 1952. In his interview, Stephen talks about what it was like growing up in West Cambridge on Alpine Street. He describes how his mother, Joyce Chen, thrived as a restauranteur and entrepreneur through her cooking show, restaurants, and inventions. Read the transcript Audio…

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May 6: Stories of Cambridge: Chinese American Culinary Pioneers

Stories of Cambridge: Chinese American Culinary Pioneers Monday, May 66 pmCambridge Public Library Lecture Hall, 449 BroadwayFree To celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage (AAPI) Month, History Cambridge, in collaboration with our friends at Chinese Historical Society of New England, One in a Billion Productions, and Chinese American Association of Cambridge, will host an…

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Chinese Americans of Cambridge Oral History Project

Oral History Project

In 2022-2024, we interviewed several individuals about their experiences being Chinese or Chinese American in Cambridge. Interviews were conducted by volunteer Justin Murphy and History Cambridge Executive Director Marieke Van Damme. Click on the individuals below to hear their stories.

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Nick’s Beef and Beer House

Years 1971 – 1998 Location 1688 Massachusetts Ave., Harvard/Porter Square History The fact that it was more identifiably called “Nick’s eef and eer Ho”, or “Nick’s Bee and Beer Hose,” depending on which letters were missing from its sign, kind of says it all. Nick’s had a loyal following, despite (or because of) its unabashed,…

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Joyce Chen Restaurant

Compiled by Deb Mandel, 2022 Locations 617 Concord Ave, 1958-1971 The Joyce Chen Small Eating Place (1967-1988) 302 Massachusetts Avenue  Joyce Chen Restaurant (1969-1974) 500 Memorial Drive Website: History Joyce Chen was Boston’s first real celebrity restaurateur and holds indisputable importance in American culinary history. In the same era Julia Child was changing America’s…

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Cambridge School of Culinary Arts

Compiled by Deb Mandel, 2022 Years 1974 – present Location 2020 Massachusetts Ave., Porter Square Website: History In 1974, Roberta L. Dowling began teaching classes on European cooking in her home, an endeavor whose popularity precipitated the opening of an established school of culinary arts. Roberta graduated from Madeleine Kaman’s Modern Gourmet cooking school…

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India Pavilion 

Compiled by Deb Mandel, 2022 Years 1979 – present Location 17 Central Square, Western Ave. Website: History Indian food in New England was born here. ​In 1979, Mohan Singh bought a Central Square pizza house and turned it into an Indian restaurant – something not found anywhere else in Boston at the time. Not…

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