The Observer is a student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame, Saint Mary's & Holy Cross. Learn about us.



Dorm food sales return following pandemic pause

| Thursday, September 23, 2021

From Knott Hall’s Waffle Wednesday to Fisher Hall’s Ellie’s Deli, student-run dorm food sales are back in full swing across campus after a pause during COVID-19 restrictions in the 2020-2021 school year.

Junior Mac Baker is one of the organizers of Waffle Wednesday, a food sale based out of Knott Hall selling waffles with a variety of toppings, including ice cream and cinnamon buns. He and a few of his friends took over the business during their freshman year. Baker said the sale, which lasts from 9 p.m. to midnight every Wednesday, serves as an opportunity to meet a wide array of people from different parts of campus.

“We have music going, a lot of good vibes, and then our friends from across campus or in the dorm all come down and stop by and say hi,” said Baker. “You just get to interact with a lot of different people, and it’s just sort of a good sense of fellowship.”

For students who prefer more sustenance, Keenan Hall’s Zaland sells pizza by the slice and by the pie every weekday from 9:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. and on weekends from 11:30 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. 

Junior Nathan Shemwell, who manages Zaland, said the most business comes on Friday and Saturday nights when people are getting back to the residence hall late at night or early in the morning. While most business comes from Keenan residents, Shemwell said there is a significant amount of traffic from outside of Keenan on the weekends. 

Shemwell said it is not difficult to get enough employees to sign up to work at Zaland.

“I’d say it’s a really fun job,” he said. “You know you just hang out for four hours, say on a Wednesday night, listen to music, make pizza, talk to people who come in. So I’d say it’s pretty fun.”

While Zaland employs 14 Keenan men, next door in Stanford Hall, junior Paul Cassidy operates a coffee shop all on his own. 

Cassidy said he has always been passionate about brewing coffee. Last year, he drove his espresso machine and hand-built cart to campus from his home in Arizona so he could make coffee in his dorm room for his friends in Stanford. 

“It was only over the summer that my rector was like, ‘Hey, we could make this … our dorm cafe,’” Cassidy said. “And that’s what we did.”

Cassidy’s shop, Cinderblock Coffee, currently operates from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays and on Fridays from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. He sells a variety of espresso drinks, including lattes and mochas, and has recently added cold brew to his menu. 

Located in the basement of Fisher Hall, Ellie’s Deli is an in-dorm eatery specializing in sandwiches. The deli currently is only open to Fisher residents, but its co-owners, sophomores Nikita Elkin and Jack Slattery, hope to open up business to the rest of campus in the coming months.

Elkin said he wants to put some of the profits from Ellie’s toward enhancing the atmosphere and communal spaces in the basement. He hopes this will help Fisher share its community and traditions with the rest of campus. 

Elkin said he and Slattery are interested in starting online orders and delivery. 

“Both of us, I think we’ve got the entrepreneurial bug,” Elkin said. “We’ve only been doing it for three weeks, but I think it’s gonna be awesome in a couple months when we’re making enough money to have people coming here and have a bunch of different food items.” 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

About Megan Fahrney

Contact Megan