The Greek Devil replaced the Au Bon Pain food cart in a change that took effect following winter break.
Originally created to decrease foot traffic in Au Bon Pain’s Bryan Center location, the cart ultimately did not produce enough revenue to justify staying. The Greek Devil has replaced the Au Bon Pain cart in the hopes that the move will increase foot traffic to the Mediterranean eatery, which was located next to Penn Pavilion Fall semester.
“It ended up being kind of redundant,” said senior Chris Taylor, co-director of Duke University Student Dining Advisory Committee. “It didn’t really increase their business by any amount so they were fine with moving on past it.”
Nick Sandilands, Au Bon Pain general manager added that most students were still going to the Bryan Center location because it was so close to the cart which was only being used for “quick pick-ups.”
The renovation of the West Union building and the subsequent closing of the Bryan Center Plaza entrance has shifted the walking paths of many students and left outdoor vendors on campus strapped for business.
“The Greek Devil has been struggling this year and expressed interest when the discussion came up about that cart being available this semester,” Director of Dining Services Robert Coffey wrote in an email Monday.
Owner of The Greek Devil, Gus Megaloudis, said he prefers his new, more centralized location to last semester’s spot next to the Penn Pavilion.
“Once weather gets just a little bit better and people start to figure out that we’re here again, things will get better for us,” Megaloudis said. “I’m excited to be here.”
Students’ initial reaction to the switch has been positive.
“I personally am someone who would go out of my way to get a gyro from Gus, and I don’t think I’m alone in that, so hopefully they’ll be just fine, if not better than before,” junior Arielle Brackett said.
Junior Rachel Clausen noted that the Greek Devil cart is a quick alternative to waiting in line at the Loop or Au Bon Pain.
The food cart itself serves as a pilot for a new design to replace the current carts on campus, which have become weathered, Coffey said. The potential revamp accompanies the ongoing attempt to upgrade alternative dining options on campus.
Since the closing of West Union, certain eateries have become overcrowded, especially during the lunch rush and dinnertime hours. Taylor said he hopes that more students will feel compelled to go to the Greek Devil’s new location.
“It’s something that’s a problem for students because you don’t want to have to wait so long at the eateries you frequent,” Taylor said. “The thing we’re trying to do is elevate other eateries to put less stress on those places.”