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UNG Students Want On-Campus Restaurants Opened on Weekends

Photo by Robert DiClemente

The University of North Georgia’s Dahlonega campus offers students a variety of restaurants to dine at during the school week at the Hoag Student Center. However, as soon as Friday afternoon approaches, each of the restaurants in Hoag turns off its lights, rolls out the storefront gates and closes shop for the weekend. With the closure of these restaurants on Saturday and Sunday, it leaves students with a lack of on-campus dining options at their disposal on weekends. 

UNG’s on-campus dining options at the Hoag Student Center include Einstein’s Bros. Bagels, Twisted Taco, Wild Blue and P.O.D Express. On Monday through Thursday, each of these restaurants closes at 8 p.m., with Einstein’s being the only exception, closing at 5:30 p.m. Every Friday at 2 p.m., all these restaurants close and do not reopen until Monday morning. This leaves students with the dining hall (Chow), Starbucks and Chow House Diner as their only on-campus options for food during the weekend. 

Photo by Robert DiClemente

Both the University of Georgia and Kennesaw State University close most of their on-campus restaurants over the weekend. 

An argument to be made against UNG’s on-campus restaurants staying open on weekends is that many students travel back home on Saturdays and Sundays. However, despite students leaving campus on the weekends, the city of Dahlonega continues to stay busy because of the increase in visitors on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

In a 2022 report from Adara, a credit card tracking company, Dahlonega tourists spent almost $69 million in credit card purchases. Each visitor spent $169.24 daily in Lumpkin County, with most of the spending coming from restaurants and food stores. 

Some UNG students have voiced their opinions on the lack of on-campus dining options on weekends. In a survey conducted on Thursday, Nov. 30, 28 out of 35 UNG students said that on-campus dining should be open on weekends. 

Junior Spanish major Julie Brown lives on the Dahlonega campus and she does not have access to her own vehicle. Because of this, Brown said she feels stuck eating at Chow on weekends because of her limited options on campus and restrictions on purchasing food off campus. 

“I think on-campus restaurants should stay open on the weekends because it gives those with meal plans more options,” Brown said. 

Junior healthcare systems and informatics administration major Ryan Kelly said he eats at the Twisted Taco on campus almost four times a week. Kelly said that he enjoys the easy access and availability of on-campus restaurants, and he would be more likely to dine at Twisted Taco even more if it was available to him on the weekend. 

Junior interdisciplinary studies major Sam Farrell works at Chow on weekends. Farrell said that Chow is typically very slow on Saturdays. 

“As one of the normal workers on the pizza line on a normal weekday night from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. I make about 60 pizzas,” Farrell said, “On a Saturday I might make 40 all day between 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. 

While Chow does not see a lot of traffic on Saturdays, Farrell said Sundays are a lot busier because Chow is open to the public and a lot of people come in for lunch along with students returning to campus for dinner. 

“This has caused us to change the [lunch] menu to more traditional southern dishes like fried chicken and mashed potatoes,” Farrell said, “Sunday dinner is almost as busy as a normal weekday night.” 

Farrell said that he has noticed a recent spike in people eating at Chow on the weekends leading up to finals. 

 “I suspect this is due to people studying and staying on campus,” Farrell said, “I believe that other restaurants on campus would not truly benefit from being open on all weekends. I do however believe that on-campus restaurants could stay open on select weekends where more people are predicted to stay on campus such as midterms, finals weeks and the large events in town such as Bear on the Square and Gold Rush.”

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About the Contributor
Robert DiClemente, Staff Editor
Hey everyone! My name is Robert and I am a student on the Dahlonega campus. I am majoring in Communications with a focus in Multimedia Journalism. I love to write and I am excited to share that passion with you and other Vanguard staff members. Outside of the Vanguard I work for North Georgia's Athletic Department and serve as a play-by-play broadcaster on the Nighthawk Sports Network.
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