Everyone from Al Pacino to Jacqueline Onassis has dined at Mr. Bartley’s Burger Cottage, one of Harvard Square’s enduring landmarks for burgers and frappes. Now it’s for sale, according to owner Bill Bartley, whose family has owned the business since 1960.
“I’m 60. I don’t want to be here when I’m 70,” he said.
A listing from the Boston Restaurant Group advertises the business at 1246 Massachusetts Ave. in Cambridge for $475,000.
However, Bartley said he wants the property to go to a buyer who will preserve the Bartley name and concept, featuring cheekily named burgers like the Trump Tower and The DNC.
“We’re looking for someone to come in and renovate, bring in beer and wine, and put in a bathroom. Usually we’re too busy to take on a renovation. It might be an opportunity, but it has to be the right person; there won’t be any conversation with anyone who doesn’t want it to be Bartley’s,” he said.
Bartley said his children aren’t interested in taking over the business.
“My wife doesn’t want her babies to grow up to be grill men,” he said, laughing.
Happily, he reports that the restaurant is on track to reopen regardless come September.
“We’re closed for now, but we’ll be open by September at the latest,” he said. “Bartley’s isn’t going anywhere. I’d give it to someone before I let that happen.”