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Following a two-year closure during the pandemic, Winthrop Grille opened last week with a new menu featuring churros and Oreo milkshakes.
Winthrop Grille’s soft reopening took place on Dec. 1, joining the Quad, Dunster, and Quincy Grilles as a place on campus where students can enjoy late-night food. The grille is located in Beren Hall in Winthrop House and is open Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m.
“Opening night was absolutely crazy in the amount of people who showed up — overwhelming to the point where we're running out of our supply orders on the first day,” said Osazi R. Al Khaliq ’23, student manager of Winthrop Grille. “I think that is a testament to how many people are still excited to have the Winthrop Grille open.”
Kara P. Murray ’22-23, a co-student manager, said the grille managers are responsible for the “behind the scenes” of grille operations.
“We handle the hiring and training of the staff, we oversee their payroll for them, we handle the supply orders,” Murray said. “We work with the house staff to basically maintain the space.”
Murray and Al Khaliq said they have been preparing for the grille’s revival since April.
“We can't open without us being certified, so we have to be ServSafe Certified, which means that we have to go through extensive food training,” Al Khaliq said. “Not to even mention meeting the faculty deans, meeting HUDS, meeting our suppliers, making sure who knows what, trying to get our finances in order.”
Non-manager staff are paid $15 an hour on weekdays and $16 an hour on weekends, while grille managers are paid by Harvard University Dining Services, per Murray. Any profit the grille makes goes toward an emergency fund.
Maya M. Douglas ’25, a co-student manager, said one of the challenges the grille has faced is a broken fryer.
“Our fryer is broken so we have had to cook everything in the oven, which has been a challenge because things have been kind of slower than we wanted them to be,” Douglas said. “So when people take an order, it'll take them a good bit to get their food, which is kind of frustrating.”
Santy Mendoza ’23 said the grille menu is “different but in a good way” compared to when he first visited it during his freshmen year.
“I don’t remember them having churros,” Mendoza said. “It's just nice having it open again because I feel like there's not that many spaces around campus where you can just go and relax, and I think the grilles were one of those.”
— Staff writer Audrey M. Apollon can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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