Big Shoes to Fill: King’s Moves into Mona’s Old Location


Allison Hunter Korn

New restaurant King’s fills the lunch gap left vacant by Mona’s.

Clara Engels, Contributing Writer

A staple of lunches at the Cambridge Rindge & Latin School, Mona Lisa Pizza & Grill, is now gone, and a new restaurant is in town. King’s Famous Roast Beef Pizza & Seafood has moved into Mona Lisa’s old premises. However, whether the small chain can fill the former’s role as a go-to lunch spot for Rindge students and staff remains to be seen.

Students may simply view King’s as another pizza place, but as its name suggests, this new restaurant boasts a diverse menu. “King’s,” a moniker some have already given it, serves a wide range of dishes from many parts of the world. Feven Mengistu ’25 recommends the sweet chili chicken, deeming it “buss,” while Susan Alexander ’26 told the Register Forum that she “loves the fish and chips.” Even Principal Damon Smith says he enjoys King’s signature roast beef sandwich, the “super beef,” and their “special sauce.” Owner and manager of King’s, Waqas Shah, told the Register Forum, “Everything on the menu is my favorite, because I picked all the items [thoroughly].” For vegetarians, he recommends the veggie pizza, calzone, wrap, and quesadilla, and plans to add vegan burgers soon.

Shah has lived in Cambridge for 10 years, and his wife is a nurse for the Cambridge Health Alliance who graduated from CRLS in 2010. When asked about their first week of business, Shah expressed optimism, telling the Register Forum, “Working with the high school kids was completely a new experience to me, but I was ready for them because I knew about the location.” Shah continued, “The opening week was a lot better than what I had expected compared to my other locations.”

This new restaurant boasts a diverse menu.

Those who have entered any of the stores on the CRLS campus know how frenzied the lunch rush can be. While Shah is confident in his staff’s efficiency, Lila Gray ’26 described her negative experience of a half hour wait time that made her late for class to the Register Forum. Shah proposes that “If students want something other than slices, I suggest they order prior to the lunch break, so that the food is ready and they can have enough time to enjoy it.” Gray also called the quesadilla she ordered “disgusting” and the fries “nast.”

On the other hand, Izzy Ramos 26 thinks that some of King’s critics just “don’t like it … because they’re too attached [to] …  Mona’s.” Ramos explained to the Register Forum that, “[Critics] have …  a sentimental attachment, but I just don’t see it.” She also commented on King’s good prices. The restaurant has many deals, including a special they often recommend for students: two slices of cheese pizza and a small soda for $4.99. CRLS teacher Mr. Christopher Nemitz called it pricey, but was impressed with the customer service and the recent layout changes.

Whether “King’s” is the new “Mona’s” is still up for debate, but it is certainly worth trying something on the extensive menu. As owner Shah put it, “I want the students at CRLS [to] know that I’m ready for the lunch periods. Bring it on!”

This article also appears in our April 2023 print edition.