Standing in line at Haines Food Court located inside the Shriver Center, first-year Jake Basile bears the line of students waiting anxiously for their late-night dinners. His mouth begins to water as he watches those in front of him walking away from the Grille within Haines Food Court with hamburgers, French fries, grilled cheese sandwiches and even breakfast bagels. Only a couple more minutes of waiting and he gets what he went there at 1 a.m. on a Saturday night for — the Clinton.
The Clinton, which he describes as his favorite sandwich because it is “the best of both worlds,” combines a grilled cheese with a slice of pizza and makes it into a sandwich.
First-year and Shriver employee Marie Hickman said the Clinton is one of the most popular sandwiches that sells at Shriver because it’s filling and a good late night treat. As a cashier, Hickman has assisted many people in paying for their purchases and has a sense for what most students like to eat late at night.
She also said late-night dining is popular on campus because it gives students the extra option of going somewhere to eat if they’re hungry.
“Plus if they’re studying for a big exam, food is one way to keep [themselves] awake,” Hickman said
According to Tina Rotundo, executive manager for Haines Food Court, Tuffy’s and Spring Street Market, the Shriver Center serves around 700 students during late-night weekend hours compared to around 200 during the weekdays.
Rotundo said Shriver does not employ security on the weekend and many of the customers that come into the food court are inebriated.
While the prices do not increase or decrease at any certain hour of the day, there are certain late night specials that students can take advantage of such as ordering a combination of certain foods and getting discounts at the register.
Perhaps this is a reason why lines are seen at both Bell Tower To-Go and Haines more and more often into the wee hours of the morning.
“Not only is it more convenient to use my meal plan to get food since I always have my card, but it’s also cheaper than going Uptown,” Basile says.
Serving a wide range of foods from cinnamon covered pretzels, to King James’ sandwiches, to salads and pasta, late-night dining gives students the option of having just about whatever they want to eat- without the hassle of cooking and cleaning.
Being open at abnormal late-night hours could be considered a benefit for dining facilities on campus because it helps them obtain a wider range of students who come to eat, at a wider time span.
“At the end of the day, food is food. It is nice to actually be able to get that food at the very end of my day too, though,” Basile said.