Aramark cuts J Street hours again

Most Marvin Center dining venues will be closing earlier next semester after Aramark made changes to its operating schedule for the second time in the last month.

Shops currently staying open until midnight will be closing their doors at 10 p.m. or 11 p.m. beginning in January, according to a spring 2005 schedule provided Friday by the University. As of Sunday, Aramark, a private company that operates all Marvin Center eateries, did not post the new hours on the GW Dining Services Web site.

Next semester, Starbucks and the District Market will close at 11 p.m. Subway, Wendy’s, Tuscan Oven and Baja Sol will shut their doors at 10 p.m. Other venues, such as Jamba Juice and the Asian eatery Miso, will keep their current hours. In November, some of the venues were reportedly staying open until 2 a.m.

University officials said they supported the changes because students are not consistently frequenting the Marvin Center late at night. Executive Vice President and Treasurer Louis Katz said the food service provider would expand its hours “if demand is there.”

“They did not do this unilaterally and we supported these adjustments in hours,” Katz said, noting that Aramark has “every incentive to expand hours” if student traffic patterns indicate that venues would make money if they stayed open later.

In addition to adjusting to student demand, Aramark has improved its food selection, offering more hot meals and Krispy Kreme doughnuts

doughnuts at the District Market, Katz said.

The latest changes mean Aramark has curtailed some of its venues’ daily schedules by as many as four hours since the renovated J Street opened in late August. Until the middle of November, Tuscan Oven, Baja Sol and Subway stayed open until 2 a.m.

By keeping the venues open past midnight, Aramark hoped to generate student demand for late-night service and compete with off-campus businesses that accept Colonial Cash. But traffic patterns showed that J Street was virtually empty past midnight, said Katz, who added that keeping venues open until 2 a.m. may never “make sense.”

Some students said they were not happy about the latest changes.

“It’s really convenient to be able to get food when you’re studying late at night,” said sophomore Vlora Gjoni.

Some other students weren’t as bothered by the news.

Freshman Elliot Gillerman said, “In all honesty, I don’t eat dinner at 11 so I don’t have a huge problem with it. I eat at J Street more than anywhere else, but I can’t remember when I’ve ever eaten there so late.”

Students will still have many options for late-night eating. In addition to the off-campus Colonial Cash partners that stay open past midnight, the Mitchell Hall 7-Eleven stays open 24 hours and at least one Ivory Tower venue closes at 2 a.m.

-Sam Salkin contributed to this report.

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