The Eaton Street Café Gives Students Fun Options

by The Cowl Editor on January 27, 2017


Nick Crenshaw ’20 / The COWL


by Sabrina Guilbeault ’18

Assistant News Editor

The Arthur F. and Patricia Ryan Center for Business Studies is not the only new entity on campus this semester at Providence College. The opening of the new business building also came with the Eaton Street Café: PC’s newest dining facility.

The Eaton Street Café offers students a multitude of options. From Sandella’s to a deli, from goods previously offered at the Friar Buyer to a late night takeout window, the purpose of the Eaton Street Café is to give students a variety of fun options. “When discussion first started about adding a café or restaurant to the business school, we asked, ‘what can we do to make this fun?’” said  Sodexo General Manager Stu Gerhardt. He explained much of the initial conversations were held between himself, Warren Gray, and John McSweeney.

Gerhardt explained that the café needed to provide options that catered to both students and faculty, especially since the café is found so close to faculty offices inside the school compared to Sandella’s being located in the basement of Davis Hall. “Faculty members don’t want the same menu as the students,” said Gerhardt. “What we knew is that we needed a menu that would attract both the business school audience and the kids.”

Inside the Eaton Street Café, students can still find Sandella’s where paninis, quesadillas, burritos, and flat bread sandwiches are offered. “Sandella’s is a good brand,” said Gerhardt. “It’s good, wholesome, and people know it.”

The café also will house a deli, which will offer meats from local farms in New England, such as roast beef, ham, and turkey. A self-service Starbucks espresso machine is also available for use, which can make coffee options such as cappuccinos, Americanos, and espressos. The Eaton Street Café also introduced a Grill menu that offers breakfast, lunch and dinner, and late night options. The Grill offers basic food options such as burgers, steak and cheese sandwiches, and grilled chicken sandwiches.

Gerhardt stated that he is very excited about the name of the Eaton Street Café and said he hopes that it attracts the students living in the apartment dorms and students living on Eaton Street. “The big question became, what about the kids that live on Eaton?” he said.

The café will stay open as late as the business school; however, once the building closes, the late night menu will operate from the takeout window until 2 a.m. “We wanted the takeout window to feel like a food truck,” said Gerhardt. “The big difference between the takeout window and a food truck is that you can use your Friarbucks.”

The Late Night menu offers a variety of food options including curly fries, chicken tenders, and tater tots that will not be offered anywhere else on campus. The café offers breakfast sandwiches and breakfast food, which will be open as early as 8 a.m. “We’re excited about the Scrambler, which is basically a sandwich with scrambled eggs, tater tots, bacon, and cheese,” said Gerhardt.

“We want to continue with the fun and make it different,” said Gerhardt. “Just wait until the patio is done and the weather gets warm. There will be tons of tables that will be out there.” Opened for just over a week, Gerhardt explained that business inside the Café has already been great. “Right now we’re selling out of everything,” he said. “We keep making new orders every day.”

The space that held Sandella’s and the Friar Buyer in Davis is currently unoccupied, and last night at Student Congress, Dean of Students Steven Sears stated that students with any ideas as to what to do with the space are welcomed to contact him.

Gerhardt explained that the success of any new operation depends on its willingness to be progressive. “The college keeps growing, and sometimes that makes it harder, but in other aspects it makes it more fun,” he said. “The Eaton Street Café is a comfortable, warm, inviting space, and will allow the dining services offered by PC to stay up with the trends.”