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Monday, May 27, 2024
The Eagle

New Asian restaurant to open in tunnel

AU students’ cravings for Asian cuisine on campus will be satiated by a new restaurant opening next to the UPS store in the tunnel.

Asian Flavors, set to open some time before Thanksgiving break, will include Thai, Mongolian and Chinese food, according to Dave Courter, director of Auxiliary Services.

“Construction is practically done,” Courter said. “It’s the final things that have to be finished and tested before the operator moves equipment in.”

AU President Neil Kerwin announced in his mid-summer memorandum that Asian Flavors would open in late September. Construction began in early summer, but delays in construction and approval held up the opening, according to Courter.

Courter said AU officials thought it would be finished more quickly than the contractor was able to work, so they had an optimistic ending date.

“We’re pushing hard to get it open,” Courter said.

He said the delays were not within the school’s control, but rather resulted from D.C. regulations, including the reinstallation of a gas line.

Initially finding a tenant for the vacant space also took time. AU negotiated with Tom Gera, owner and operator of other venues on campus such as Megabytes, the American Cafe and the Katzen Cafe. Gera has signed a 10-year lease on the space.

JoDe Nowland, the former director of Auxiliary Services, collaborated with Gera on the idea of a new Asian eatery. Gera said he met two or three times with students.

“When we’ve done surveys, Asian food came high up on the list,” Gera said.

“Students these days are very savvy. They know what they want to eat and they want some good stuff at a good price.”

Gera said that chefs will cook in front of students so that they can control what is put in the food. Listening to students has helped him craft the menu for Asian Flavors.

Gera said the only obstacle in opening an Asian restaurant on campus would be the competition with Chinese and Thai restaurants already established in the area.

Gera owns a restaurant similar to “Asian Flavors” called “Spice Express” which has two locations downtown and a third to open soon. However, Gera said that “Asian Flavors” is the first of its kind and will boast a completely unique menu.

Easy accessibility to Asian Flavors will be an asset for students, even compared to close competition in nearby Tenleytown.

lgiangreco@theeagleonline.com


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