Brian Rae Is on Board at Les Sablons, Row 34’s Cambridge Restaurant

A historic Harvard Square building will soon be home to a 'metropolitan' spot from Garrett Harker, Jeremy Sewall, and team.

The Conductor's Building in Harvard Square will soon be home to Les Sablons, the latest from Garrett Harker and the Island Creek Oyster Bar team.

The Conductor’s Building in Harvard Square will soon be home to Les Sablons, the latest from Garrett Harker and the Island Creek Oyster Bar team. / Photo provided

Since announcing that they’re bringing a new restaurant to an iconic Harvard Square building nearly a year ago, the team behind Island Creek Oyster Bar and Row 34 have been quiet on further details. But today, the team finally confirms some basics about their first Cambridge venture.

It’s officially called Les Sablons, as Boston Restaurant Talk uncovered in November. No official details on the name’s meaning, but “sablons” is an old French word for “sand,” and Les Sablons is also a Metro Station just outside Paris.

Today’s note from the team indicates Les Sablons will be a two-level, “metropolitan” restaurant, with a “culinary worldview” inspired by London, Paris, and everything in between. Check out the fresh Facebook page.

Excitingly, Brian Rae has found a home with hospitality legend Garrett Harker and the rest of his stacked team. Rae was most recently the opening executive chef at the transformed Centre Street Café in Jamaica Plain. Sean Callahan recently took over there.

Prior to creating the modern Italian, New England-fueled menu at Centre Street Café, Rae spent five years rolling pasta with Jody Adams at the legendary Rialto, leaving there as chef de cuisine. He has also worked with chef Rick Moonen at RM Seafood in Las Vegas, and Steve Cavagnaro at Straight Wharf on Nantucket.

Rae joins seafood scholar and Les Sablons co-owner Jeremy Sewall in Harvard Square. ICOB and Row 34 co-owners Skip Bennett and Shore Gregory are also partners in this new venture, and Jackson Cannon, the cocktail connoisseur at ICOB and Harker’s lounge, the Hawthorne, is developing the “neighborhood cocktail party” that will inhabit the first floor.

Bentel & Bentel Architects (ICOB, Le Bernadin, Eleven Madison Park) are leading the redesign of the unique, narrow building—both the bar and the second-floor dining room. The historic, 17-foot-wide structure dates back to the early 1900s. BRT previously cited City of Cambridge documents that suggests Les Sablons will seat more than 130.

No word just yet on an opening timeline for Les Sablons, but construction is underway. Keep an eye on the fledgling social media profiles to keep tabs on this exciting opening across the river.

2 Bennett St., Harvard Square, Cambridge,