One of Harvard Square’s most convenient alcohol providers is now under different management. C’est Bon, the convenience store located at 1432 Mass Ave, has been reacquired by former owner George Sarkis.
The store, which is open until 2:30 a.m. on weekends, has been a Harvard landmark “for twenty years,” according to Sarkis. It sells a variety of food items and liquors and is a popular student destination for alcohol and late-night snacks.
Sarkis sold the store eighteen months ago to launch a snack food business, Healthy Life Snacks. He said that he bought C’est Bon back because the management that was running it after his departure was not doing well.
Sarkis said he is excited about the prospect of running C’est Bon once again.
Yesterday afternoon, he was in the store speaking with a saleswoman about signs and banners for new products, taking down a sign in the front of the door to make room for three new signs, and making measurements of space outside the store for new advertisements and posters.
“There will be major changes in the store coming this week,” he said.
Sarkis added that one of the reasons for the changes is to increase the number of student customers.
“We need to get the students back here,” he said.
Students have echoed the need for changes, citing high prices as their principal qualm with the establishment.
“It’s too expensive,” said Shawn J. Hilgendorf ’10.
“It’s expensive” said Kevin J. McCarthy ’10, “but Doma is more expensive. Also, C’est Bon has more expensive types of alcohol, like handles and beer, than other places.”
Sarkis said that the reason for the relatively high prices is the store’s location.
“My rent is very high. We’re right in the middle of Harvard Square,” he explained.
But Sarkis said he is ready to resolve the issue of price. He said that he understands students are used to lower prices back home.
“We will have lower prices, a wider variety of alcohol and food items, and a greater selection,” he said.
Sarkis also spoke about ideas for student discounts. “There will be a special discount for Harvard students with Harvard IDs,” he said. “We will continue to strictly ID students.”
He added that in the future he intends to operate under a slightly different name—“C’est Bon Market and Liquors.”