Over the years, Loker Commons has filled many roles: it’s been everything from a lab for B. F. Skinner’s early experiments of conditioned behavior, to a swanky juice bar where health-conscious undergrads could find freshly squeezed beet, celery and carrot juices.
This fall, Loker celebrated a new milestone in its history: it now houses a casual late-night grill, which is open to students. Loker Grill opens up at 10:30 when brain break ends, and stays open hours past midnight: the snack shop is now the most convenient place for Yard residents to find late-night mingling and freshly cooked food.
There’s a catch though: the new food is not covered by Board Plus. FM snuck into Annenberg and grilled some underclassmen to find out whether the restaurant’s hot eats and ambiance are really worth the cold cash and the frigid hike from the Yard.
“Yay for popcorn chicken! Get in my belly!” exclaims Laura G. Brent ’08. However, she adds, “As ‘yay’ as popcorn chicken is, I would prefer healthy food.”
“The fried stuff has a zesty flavor,” says Jenny Wong ’08. Meanwhile, Sarah E. Molinoff ’08 takes issue with the presentation of her meal. “Everything is good, but they put all the fried stuff on a napkin and with the grease it all sort of melts together. I ended up eating napkin.”
“Does the food really have to be all the same color?” asks Chelsea Y. Grate ’08.
The fast food is not the only attraction of Loker Grill’s late night scene: pool tables and an old-fashioned jukebox add to the charm. Students will also be able to rent out the grill for nighttime music performances, HUDS server Ron Hunt says. He also approves of the grill’s soundtrack, saying there is “a nice variety, a little something for everyone.”
Students, however, give the background music mixed reviews. “We tried to play Oasis on the grill’s jukebox and then it automatically started playing the Supremes for like a half an hour—which was overdose,” complains Molinoff.
Despite these late-night lures, the Loker scene is far from Landsdowne Street. Grate characterizes the atmosphere as “pretty mellow,” adding, “I have never seen an upperclassman there. It is all freshmen…everyone is getting math help.” So far, the Grill’s reception from the freshmen has been lukewarm, and despite shuttles to and from the ’Berg until four a.m., the upperclassmen aren’t passing over the Quincy Grille for Loker. Whether or not the late-night Loker Grill eventually goes the way of the carrot-juice bar and Skinner’s ethically questionable behavior research, it is nice that at least for now Yard residents can go there for a hot snack to sate their midnight munchies.