Spruced-Up, Spiced-Up Quincy Grille Opens

Revamped Grille will offer students food, catering, and party supplies

The Quincy Grille, long home to “high-caloric, of low nutritional value, but tasty” food, has reopened its doors with a fresh menu, extended hours, and a new catering service intended to cook up business.

The focus of the new Grille is its overhauled cuisine, with 31 new dishes, including healthy offerings such as veggie cups and edamame. The Grille has also upgraded the quality of its grub by hiring a new food supplier.

Party staples such as Solo cups, ping pong balls, and grenadine are now also for sale.

Varun Akula ’08 and Michael J. Arth ’08 masterminded the Grille’s makeover, in the works since last fall. The two will share the profits with about eight employees.

“We’re trying to be as professional as possible,” Akula said. “I’d really like to see people think of us as a legitimate food option on weeknights, as well as the place everyone goes after parties.”

The Grille’s new proprietors have expanded its hours to court students who miss dinner at the dining halls. It opens at 8 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday, and at 9 p.m. on Thursdays.

To attract partygoers, the Grille closes unusually late for a Harvard Square eatery—at 4 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, and at 2 a.m. or later on weekdays.

The Grille has also developed a new catering service, which will deliver its food to student gatherings.

Akula said the Grille will partner with party organizers, offering them a kickback for all Grille goods sold at the party, and also for any students who buy food at the Grille afterwards.

The Grille celebrated its reopening yesterday with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and much fanfare from the 50-plus students who attended.

The new Quincy House masters, Lee and Deborah J. Gehrke, cut the ribbon with Akula and Arth, and praised the rejuvenated restaurant.

“The Grille has long been a bastion of late-night fine dining,” Lee Gehrke quipped to the assembled crowd. “It’s well known for its food, which is high-caloric, of low nutritional value, but tasty.”

“Now you can also get healthy food like a veggie cup at the Grille,” he said.

After two failed attempts at cutting the ribbon, the Grille officially opened for the year.

After 10 minutes, the crowd had thinned to about 20, and only a few bought food, despite discounts on items such as mozzarella sticks.

But those who sampled the food lauded its quality.

Sinking his teeth into a burger after a five-mile run, Robert K. Lord ’09 said it tasted like “one of the best [he’d] ever had,” while Ben Kirkup ’97, a non-resident tutor, praised his beer-battered shrimp as “hot” and “crispy.”

—Roger R. Lee contributed to the reporting of this story.

—Staff writer Maxwell L. Child can be reached at mchild@fas.harvard.edu.