Business picked up right away, and at 10:30 p.m. came the spirited announcement of the “very first order of mozzarella sticks” from behind the counter.
In the course of the night, more than 150 people showed up to sample the Grille offerings, said manager Justin A. Erlich ’03.
“It was pretty packed from about 10:30 until 1:30,” he said. “We had to have four people working.”
New menu items such as the steak quesadilla and chocolate espresso milk shake were so popular that some orders took longer than usual and the espresso ran out.
Not that the customers minded the wait.
“All it does is feed procrastination,” said Grille patron Joanna S.B. O’Leary ’03, with mozzarella sticks in hand.
Shawn H. Snyder ’03 of Winthrop House took the stage with his guitar and contributed to the bar-like atmosphere Erlich works to create.
The Grille’s opening came as a relief to students who feared Dengue fever would keep Erlich from returning to manage it this year. Erlich, who caught the non-contagious mosquito-borne disease in Haiti this summer, returned to school 10 days late but has made a full recovery and was able to open the Grille on time.
The Grille, a great success with students last year, expects another big year as Erlich expands the menu and payment options and introduces new services.
Customers will soon be able to order from the Grille website—still under construction—and there are plans to begin delivery service, Erlich says.
He also hopes to expand the Crimson Cash option to include Board Plus.
In addition, Erlich will introduce “Sushi Sunday with Chef Niku,” a Quincy student art gallery and—an innovation inspired by his recent stay in Paris—Crepe Night.
After Erlich took over the management last year, the Grille underwent a series of cosmetic and operational changes—including a new lighting scheme and surround sound, an expansion of the menu and the addition of the option to pay with Crimson Cash.
“It doesn’t matter that our dining hall sucks and our housing does too, ’cause we have the Grille,” said Quincy resident Genevieve L. Wang ’03.
The Grille is open from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. weekdays and 1 to 4 a.m. weekends.