Pitchfork Provisions successful during first months of operation

Pitchfork Provisions in McClendon Tower, which replaced The Tower this year, has experienced more success than its predecessors.
Pitchfork Provisions in McClendon Tower, which replaced The Tower this year, has experienced more success than its predecessors.

Pitchfork Provisions is seeing higher sales than former Tower tenants, though administrators will continue to review students’ satisfaction with the eatery.

The 24-hour restaurant—which replaced The Tower at the start of this academic year—has garnered higher sales and more customers than its predecessor, said Rick Johnson, assistant vice president for Housing, Dining and Residence Life.

“The response has been great, kids seem really excited about the menu,” Pitchfork Provisions co-Owner Sam Clowney said. “We thought for sure some items would disappear, but everything is selling.”

Some students, however, have expressed dissatisfaction with particular aspects of the eatery, particularly the pricing.

”I heard the food was good, but the price is too expensive,” senior Chris Kizer said.

Executive Chef Chris Holloway, who co-owns and operates the eatery with Clowney, said he acknowledges that Pitchfork prices are high compared to other eateries, but emphasized that the quality of the food is worth it because it is freshly prepared.

“[Our burger prices are] a little beyond the price of the average burger, but it is not what you’d pay at [Plate and Pitchfork],” Holloway said.

Johnson said Pitchfork Provisions’ increased financial success reflects students’ satisfaction with the eatery and the convenience of its 24-hour schedule.

Peak hours at the venue are usually around dinner, from 5:30 p.m. to 11 p.m., Clowney said, noting that the end of the week is more popular when students have more free time. He said he would like to see a more consistent turnout. Clowney and Halloway, who also co-own and operate Plate and Pitchfork, said they could not release specific data regarding sales and attendance.

“While the very late-night sales are not strong and there are very few customers between 2 a.m. and 7 a.m., this was a pilot program to see if the need existed for another 24-hour operation on West Campus,” Johnson wrote in an email Wednesday. “We are going to continue to review it and listen to students.“

The administration has been working to incorporate an additional 24-hour eatery on campus for some time—McDonald’s was previously the only option.

“We were looking for a vendor partner who would serve great food and meet the needs of the students in the Edens/Keohane area including late night,” Johnson said.

As executive chef, Holloway said his vision for the menu was to offer variety as well as healthier and more flavorful choices, a number of which could accommodate vegetarians and vegans. Hamburgers are the most popular items on the menu, though the shrimp po’ boy, the New England Lobster Roll, the Salmon Hot Pot and the Vindaloo are other well-liked dishes.

Junior Emilie Marchetti said she preferred The Tower’s simpler menu to Pitchfork Provisions current offerings.

“The steak is really good, but I miss The Tower,” she said.

Clowney noted that although many students dine at Pitchfork Provisions, it is too early to deem the restaurant a success.

“Every time a new vendor opens everyone is really excited, then some of it wears off,” Clowney said. “We are definitely trying to fix mistakes right then and there.”


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