Save the breakfast sandwich
Letter to the Editor | Wednesday, March 21, 2018
In the looming shadow of Duncan Student Center lies the quaint cafe known as Waddick’s, an establishment deeply rooted in Notre Dame’s history. However, upcoming renovations threaten to destroy the classic look and feel of the decades-old location. As a Waddick’s employee, I have to say that the proposed “improvements” don’t feel well thought-out, nor do they actually take into account what students need.
Essentially, Waddick’s will be transformed into more of a “grab and go” location with scarce options and a rushed atmosphere. Now, there is no doubt we need more seating and workspace since O’Shag is essentially a long, narrow hallway with few practical spots to relax between classes. However, I fear that because so many of our popular products won’t be available, Waddick’s will become an insignificant countertop with an overpriced menu, lying in the background of a nondescript workspace.
In order to gauge student opinions, I conducted a survey on the proposed renovations. 42.7 percent of responses were in favor of increased workspace, whereas 36 percent advocated for zero changes, with the options including more seating, aesthetic changes and the addition of an espresso machine. I interpret this as meaning, quite simply, that students would appreciate an expansion, but are hesitant to go forward with these changes when the integrity of a beloved place is at stake.
As “Iced Coffee Guy’s” letter brought to attention, Waddick’s is a great value compared to most campus eateries — a breakfast sandwich and coffee will run you about $5.60, as opposed to the lofty prices of Modern Market and Hagerty Family Cafe. However, we will be doing away with these right-priced items, including our good friend’s signature beverage: iced coffee. And how do students feel about this? 84 percent said they would stop coming to Waddick’s altogether and 12 percent said they would return much less frequently.
Last semester, we had a couple recreate their first date in photos at Waddick’s, right before they got married on campus. Even I didn’t realize a little place like Waddick’s could be so important to people. There are ways to improve such a small space without completely stripping it of its identity, and I would be incredibly disappointed in this University if all of the backlash did not resonate.
In summary, students don’t want drastic change. We don’t want another cold retail location. We want more seating, we want our favorite items to stay and we want the charm of Waddick’s to be left untouched. This location has been and will continue to be an iconic source of memories: first dates, cramming sessions, awkward meetings with professors, much-needed coffee breaks, anxiously waiting for your breakfast sandwich and so much more.
There’s a reason people are fighting for this so much, and it’s the same reason our line is still out the door.
The views expressed in this Letter to the Editor are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.