By: Becky Koenig
The Crust, The Pita Pit, and Subway Cafe landed spots July 26 in Tribe Square, the new multi-purpose residence hall located off Richmond Road. While the restaurants are not expected to open until the end of September, 49 seniors, six juniors and one sophomore moved into the building’s 14 apartments at the beginning of the school year.
“We love it,” Tribe Square resident Meg Southern ’12 said. “Everyone who comes to visit tells us it’s like a palace. It’s a great space. The furnishings are beautiful.”
To provide students with more accessible late-night dining options, the restaurants will remain open until at least 1 a.m., and The Pita Pit and The Crust will have outdoor terraces facing Richmond Road, according to Executive Director of the William and Mary Real Estate Foundation Nancy Buchanan.
“We have received a really positive response from students,” she said, citing emails and conversations on campus. “[The foundation] picked the restaurants out of numerous letters of intent, good financial backgrounds and restaurant concepts they thought would appeal to students.”
“Fresh Thinking. Healthy Eating,” is the slogan for The Pita Pit, which will offer vegetarian, vegan and traditional meat pita sandwiches, as well as frozen yogurt. Subway Cafe will have a coffeehouse atmosphere and sell espresso drinks, desserts and baked goods in addition to its typical selection of sandwiches.
Wood-fired Neapolitan pizzas, salads, sandwiches, bruschetta, buffalo wings and a full bar will be signatures of The Crust, a new concept restaurant branch of local chain Baker’s Crust.
“We had been thinking about opening a smaller concept, and we had just rolled out traditional wood-fired Neapolitan pizzas in three of our restaurants,” Baker’s Crust President John Stein said. “They have been received very well. My partner and I spent some time in New York researching traditional pizza. He’s an incredible baker and has quite a bit of talent working with dough.”
Stein said The Crust was designed with College students in mind.
“We’re trying to develop something different than our restaurant on Monticello,” he said. “It will be more casual. Something more college friendly but clean and more up-to-date. We’re hoping it’s going to be a cool place where students want to be actively involved, as well as a place to call their own and enjoy,” he said.
Payment options through the College remain limited for now, since none of the restaurants is eligible for the Dining Dollars system. Stein said The Crust will be accepting the Express payment system.
Space for a fourth Tribe Square restaurant is available but an establishment has yet to be announced.
On-site parking in the new lot behind Tribe Square is reserved for the customers of the first floor restaurants. Dorm residents must purchase a parking pass through Parking Services and keep their cars in designated locations on campus.
The 56 air-conditioned single rooms in Tribe Square were hot commodities during on-campus housing registration, with students snatching all the second and third floor rooms in the first few time slots.
Southern said all the residents she has spoken to are pleased with their selection, but she had one criticism of her brand new dorm.
“The only things we are wanting for are drawers,” she said. “Everyone has tried to come up with creative ways to store silverware.”
Southern said she is looking forward to the restaurants set to open underneath her apartment.
“I think everyone is excited about those. They sound really nice, they sound like places we’ll spend a lot of time,” she said.
Flat Hat News Editor Vanessa Remmers contributed to this story.