The opening of the North Quad Residential and Academic Complex this August has put hundreds of students in direct proximity to South State Street eateries. While a few restaurants have seen a significant increase in business, others located right next to North Quad say they aren’t reaping the benefits of a larger customer base.
North Quad residents say the limited hours of the dining hall — lunch is served from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and dinner from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. — cause many students to resort to eating out.
LSA junior Kristin Kopec, a North Quad resident, said living on South State Street is convenient for finding restaurants to dine in, and cited Noodles and Company and Potbelly Sandwich Shop as her frequent choices.
Panera Bread, which is located on North University Avenue about one block from North Quad, has seen a large increase in customers. Panera employee Tenia Harris, an Eastern Michigan University student, said the café has been busier compared to last fall.
“It’s usually really busy between 10 (a.m.) and 4 (p.m.) … The lines are out the door,” Harris said.
Cosí, an eatery on South State Street, has also seen an increase in business, according to Cosí General Manager Jon Garcia.
“I can tell you that I’m sure … at least a small portion of that is because of the dorm,” Garcia said, adding that he didn’t know exactly how much profits have increased.
According to Jonathan Kirk, one of the managers of Amer’s Mediterranean Deli on South State Street, the addition of North Quad has contributed to the deli and yogurt bar’s uptick in business.
However, some businesses haven’t been affected by the new dorm. Matt West, an employee of the South State Street Espresso Royale location, said he hasn’t seen an increase in traffic since North Quad opened.
“There’s really no change in business,” he said.
While some South State Street businesses have experienced a spike in profits, some restaurant owners say business has been slow despite North Quad’s opening.
The lack of customers may be due in part to the construction of a CVS Pharmacy on South State Street that will be opening in early 2011. Business owners say the construction deters pedestrians from the area.
Mr. Greek’s Coney Island owner Louie Anton said his restaurant — located next to the construction site — has had fewer customers since construction began.
Bradley Gibson, an assistant general manager at Buffalo Wild Wings, which is located next to Mr. Greeks, also said fewer students have come into the restaurant since construction started.
“It’s the construction that has the sidewalk closed so students are not even wanting to come down this way…(they are) just avoiding the construction,” Gibson said.
He added that once CVS is built, however, he expects business to pick up again.
“Once the construction is all done, I think then we will…actually see what our full potential can be,” Gibson said.