Photo courtesy of Ritz Davison
DOUGLAS ROCHE III | OPINION COLUMNIST | firstname.lastname@example.org
Last June, the Pita Pit located in the parking garage on Sunset Ave. closed down after just seven months of business. What was once a convenient grab and go sandwich shop to hit up after basketball games is now a vacancy in the Butler parking garage, where Metro Diner and Scotty’s Dawghouse also reside.
While some students may not have even noticed Pita Pit ever closed down, let alone ever existed, there are some, myself included, who are curious enough to think about what could replace it; more so write an article about it. When it comes to this vacancy, I believe there are several business opportunities, that Pita Pit just was not the right fit for.
With that said, I present four ideas on what could replace Pita Pit.
Tropical Smoothie Cafe
An unlikely and unoriginal idea, but I am all for it.
Tropical Smoothie Cafe is everything Pita Pit attempts to be and then some. While the two are quite similar in menu options, I am a firm believer that Tropical Smoothie makes a significantly better wrap then Pita Pit. On top of that, Tropical Smoothie makes a highly customizable smoothie, which customers can add supplements, seeds, fruit, and more to get the most out of your order.
I see this being ideal for students who are returning from the HRC after their workout, but if a sandwich shop failed once on campus already, why think that another one, despite one like Tropical Smoothie, would succeed?
A Pharmacy/Convenience Store
Ambitious, relevant, and sensible. With a nationally-renowned pharmacy program, it would make sense for Butler to have a pharmacy on campus potentially ran by students and/or graduates.
Butler could even go further and make the location a small convenience store, which I believe would fit well on campus despite the existence of C-Club, the bookstore and Apartment Village’s C-Store. While there is a wide array of products at C-Club and C-Store, another convenience store could receive business from senior students living on Sunset Avenue and students who spend large parts of their day at either Hinkle or the Health and Recreation Complex.
Colin Hastings, fourth-year pharmacy major, liked the idea of an on-campus pharmacy due to its close proximity and the potentially positive influence it would have on Butler’s campus.
“Having an on-campus pharmacy could give pharmacy majors a convenient way to gain retail experience without a long commute,” Hastings said. “Currently, a lot of pharmacy majors have 20+ minute commutes to work, so having a walkable option would be very appealing.”
Hastings also noted the increased accessibility to prescribed medication for students, as well as opportunities for employment at cashier positions for non-pharmacy majors.
“It can be difficult for students without a car to get necessary prescriptions,” he said. “A campus pharmacy resolves this issue almost right away. In addition, a lot of pharmacies such as CVS and Walgreens have health clinics that can take appointments, which could be useful considering the HRC has limited reservations available for health services. In addition, non-pharmacy students could seek employment as a cashier and other positions a pharmacy offers.”
As appealing as the idea of a campus pharmacy sounds, Hastings does not see one coming to Butler due to Butler’s proximity to two CVS stores. Hastings hopes that whatever Butler decides to do with the area, they put the students into consideration, as opposed to focusing on commercial use.
“I think it will end up being another fast casual restaurant such as Qdoba, as it does not seem like the location would be big enough to support another full dine-in restaurant,” he said. “Hopefully, the new addition to that spot is more aimed towards current students, as it seems that both Scotty’s and Metro Diner are more geared toward campus visitors and prospective students.”
Set aside considering the students in the decision, there is no need regardless for a third sit-down restaurant. Potentially a place where students can sit down and stay awhile.
Also unlikely and unoriginal, but arguably relevant. Butler’s Starbucks is incredulously busy. It is not uncommon to have to leave for class 20 minutes earlier than normal if you are hoping to get your caffeine intake before your lecture.
As tedious as getting a drink is, finding a table to study at could be an even bigger challenge. Starbucks has minimal seating with undersized study tables that make it difficult for more than two or three students to study at a time. On top of that, while many students on campus have learned to efficiently study at Starbucks, there are some that find the voices of dozens of students talking over each other distracting, as well as the social aspect of Starbucks in general as it neighbors Jordan Hall, Atherton, C-Club and the bookstore, where hundreds of students file in and out of all throughout each day.
I believe there is an audience to attract with a new cafe on this campus for people who want to escape the mass of people at Starbucks. Although a new cafe exceeding the popularity of the current campus Starbucks is unlikely, I believe students will resort to the new cafe due to the new location to study it offers.
Butler has an abundance of projects in the works, so there may not even be a need to find a replacement for Pita Pit. With the new new business school expected to open in fall 2019, which will offer food services and a rooftop deck for students to study with a view, finding Pita Pit’s replacement is not an urgency.
What is also important to take into account is what happens with the Lambda Chi Alpha land, which Butler has been in the talks of purchasing. The purchase of that land opens a new realm of opportunities for services and venues that makes finding a replacement for Pita Pit less prioritized.
Besides, Scotty’s Dawghouse has always offered a vastly superior buffalo chicken wrap.