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Armadillo seeks facelift, adds events

The Armadillo Grill is implementing changes to its look this fall, in an attempt to fill a campus social void left by the Hideaway's closure two years ago.

The bar area's overhaul is the most dramatic physical alteration. Capitalizing on a lack of alcoholic venues on campus, owners hope to make the restaurant a principal nighttime destination for students.

"We realize that students are drawn to places that offer an atmosphere similar to what you would find at an off-campus bar," said Creed Spriggs, co-owner. "That's what we're trying to create here. Ideally, people would separate the grill and bar as two completely different thoughts."

As part of Armadillo's new feel, bar manager Jimmy Bennett plans to introduce a new 'margatini menu,' including seven different margaritas and ten 'margatinis,' mixed drinks made with tequila and various juices. Bennett said Raleigh's Armadillo Grill implemented the new drink menu and that it has met with great success.

In addition to the added drinks, Bennett said he hopes to add a more ambitious entertainment schedule. Weekly features may include a 'pub-quiz' trivia night, live bands and student a cappella groups. Bennett added that the bar will introduce quiz machines and arcade-style games to complement the existing televisions. Additionally, during Monday Night Football, the bar will distribute free chicken wings from kick-off until the first score of the game.

The bar's decor, which some students have criticized as too plain, has likewise been revamped. "Its status as an evening bar destination for students was [also] hurt by negative employee relations, like a bouncer wearing a Maryland shirt at the showing of a Duke-Maryland game," said Jim Wulforst, director of dining services.

Bennett said that making the bar's image "bright and spirited" is one of his primary tasks.

"I am trying to fill the space down here with as much Duke paraphernalia as possible. Jerseys, helmets, posters and neon signs--you name it--and it will be up there," he said. "I think we will become known for our entertainment, not just as another place that has beer."

Trivia and live entertainment events will be open to all students, but only those students over the age of 21 will be allowed to purchase alcohol.

"Live entertainment will definitely make the Armadillo more appealing," junior Katie McNabb said. "Even though many students will not be able to drink, I can see it becoming one of those restaurants you will meet all of your friends at and just hang out."

The restaurant has also added more food choices, such as nachos and burritos.

Co-owner Ben Pace said that he thinks a selling point for the restaurant is that it makes everything fresh.

"Along with these new menu options, I would like people to understand the lengths to which we go to ensure the quality of our food," he said.

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