Students are eager to keep the Dillo from permanently closing its doors.
Students began to circulate a petition calling for Armadillo Grill to remain on campus since The Chronicle reported last week that the Loop Pizza Grill will replace Armadillo Grill this July. The dining shuffle is a result of the upcoming West Union Building and ongoing Bryan Center renovations. Restaurant manager Erika Garris said the petition appeared Thursday afternoon, accumulating upwards of 350 signatures before the end of the evening.
“I’m heartbroken,” sophomore Georgia Swee said. “I just recently discovered their amazing tacos.”
The petition states that getting rid of the Armadillo Grill is a “detriment” to Duke. The document adds that the restaurant is essential to the West Campus dining scene not only for its “good food at reasonable prices” but also for the bar, which serves as a venue for live music and other social events, with alcoholic beverage options.
Garris said the restaurant hopes to collaborate with the administration to find a new location for the grill, and the management appreciates student support.
Many students expressed disappointment regarding the restaurant’s departure, as it is the only venue on campus that consistently serves Mexican cuisine.
“Living on West, this feels like the only place to find flavor,” sophomore Arathi Ponugoti said. “It’s a good, quick food option and it’s open late. I’m sad about it [leaving].”
Several other restaurants on West Campus are set to close as part of the ongoing Bryan Center and West Union renovations, including Chick-fil-A and Subway. When renovations to the building begin this summer, many dining options currently located there will move, but fast-food options will not return to campus.
“If they are getting rid of the Dillo and Chick-fil-A, I don’t know where people who aren’t super health-conscious are going to eat,” junior David Shaughnessy said.
He added that he is concerned that the administration will be hard-pressed to find replacements for the three popular venues, leaving other eateries on campus overcrowded.
Even some students who do not consider Armadillo Grill a staple in their diets believe it is important to keep the restaurant on campus.
“I don’t go there often but when I do, I always enjoy the food, and I hear that the different events they have are really well-attended,” sophomore Sina Gebre-ab said.
Various student groups often rent out Armadillo Grill for events. For example, last year, the restaurant hosted a talent competition to select student acts to perform at LDOC.