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Dorms participate in hall food sales

| Thursday, February 23, 2017

In addition to Reckers and various fast food restaurants on campus, students can turn to one of several residence-hall-sponsored eateries to satisfy cravings for anything from grilled cheese to freshly baked cookies.

One of the most active dorms in the hall food sales trade is Knott Hall, which junior Matt Gambetta said in an email “boasts seven food sales businesses” available at different points throughout the week.

“For nearly 17 years, Knott Hall has been providing food sales for its hungry residents and for the residents of Mod Quad — and now East Quad — primarily with its grilled cheese and pizza businesses,” Gambetta, the Knot Hall food sales commissioner, said. “Over the past few years, there was general discontent from Knott residents at the lack of food sales options on the weekends, so this year we’ve seen a vast expansion in Knott Hall Food Sales with the goal of becoming ‘the Reckers of the North.’”

Knott Hall provides a wide array of food options, something Gambetta said the residents pride themselves on.

“We have businesses that specialize in nachos, pizza bagels, Korean noodles, breakfast tacos, cookies, breakfast sandwiches and gourmet sandwiches,” he said. “Some of the offerings may change from semester to semester depending on demand from our residents and whether business owners wish to continue to operate, but we’re always proud to provide a diverse selection of offerings.”

While most hall food businesses primarily serve their respective residents, Gambetta said Knott Hall also generates plenty of business through their delivery policy.

“Our customer base is primarily Knott Hall, but most of our businesses will offer free delivery to the other Mod Quad and East Quad dorms as well,” he said. “We’ve even had orders delivered as far away as Welsh [Family Hall] by Knott Homemade Cookies, but I believe they charged a couple dollars for that delivery.”

One of the more recent additions to the hall food sales scene is Fisher Hall’s Ellie’s Deli, which sophomore manager Mark Etzelmueller said was revived last year to serve a variety of grilled cheese sandwiches.

“We serve a bunch of different types of grilled cheese sandwiches,” he said. “We’ve got normal grilled cheese, we’ve got it with ham and with bacon and jalapenos and we have a couple of non-cheese options. We’ve got a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and a grilled nutella sandwich, and every once in a while we throw in some specials — we had a pizza night the other night.”

Etzelmueller said Ellie’s Deli features the added touch of menu items being named after Fisher Hall residents — current or former.

“They’ve all got their own names named after people who’ve worked here or are still here,” he said. “The bacon and cheese sandwich is called the Frad after our old rector, Fr. Brad [Metz]. We have a Broleck, named after Tony Oleck, an AR now over in Dunne who used to be here. It’s a good menu. I like how much we get to have unique kinds of meals named after different people that are easy to make and pretty cheap for everyone.”

Another hall food business that uses a former resident as an inspiration is Yaz’s in Morrissey Manor. Sophomore co-owner Abe Mansour said the business started in 2001 and has been passed down from owner to owner.

“I guess whoever started it decided to name it after a famous Morrissey resident — Carl Yastrzemski, who is a hall of fame baseball player,” he said. “He actually played basketball here for a couple years and lived in Morrissey, so they named it after him and it’s baseball-themed. As far as history goes outside of that, whoever owned it the year before keeps the new team up to date on traditions that they passed down.”

Mansour said he and his friends decided to apply to take over Yaz’s because they felt they could improve the restaurant.

“I guess we just thought that it was a cool thing to have in our dorm but it could’ve been better,” he said. “So second semester a group of us were like, ‘Hey, I think we should do this,’ and once we got it we’ve been working all year to make it the best it can be. Going forward it might be a little bit different with [new Morrissey rector Zack Imfeld], but as it stands it’s pretty much been a blank slate each year.”

The Snack Shack in McGlinn Hall sells a variety of desserts, and sophomore co-commissioner Kelly McNeill said the profits benefit the hall’s signature charity.

“It’s kind of just an extra way to raise money for our charity, St. Adalbert [School],” she said. “This year we’ve done anything from simple warm cookies after Mass to brownies, cupcakes, we also have a decorate-your-own-cookies event [and] when McGlinn had an ice-cream-sundae event we sold additional brownies because they wanted that to go with their ice cream sundaes.”

McNeill said the business attracts mostly McGlinn residents due to its hours.

“The timing of when we sell is after Mass and after our hall council meetings,” she said. “So that’s when we catch most people, and usually the people attending those events are just McGlinn residents. … The warm cookies after Mass are definitely the most popular, just because everybody is downstairs and they’re fresh.”

In addition to Knott Hall, Fisher Hall, Morrissey Manor and McGlinn Hall, various other dorms around campus have their own food sales options.

Editor’s Note: News Writers Lucas Masin-Moyer, Andrew Cameron and Alexandra Muck contributed to this report.

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About Courtney Becker

Courtney is a junior from New York City majoring in film, television and theater with a minor in journalism, and currently serving as News Editor. She is a proud resident of Pasquerilla West Hall and a die-hard Pittsburgh Steelers fan.

Contact Courtney