What might have felt like an unexpected closing in August of the popular Sandella’s restaurant at the bottom of the hill was not so unexpected on the part of Franciscan University.
David Schmiesing, vice president of student life, said the plan had been to close Sandella’s in close proximity to the opening of the new restaurants.
“We’ve always been planning on closing Sandella’s for many years as we talked about the development of Franciscan Square,” said Schmiesing.
Although there is not a date for the opening of the new restaurants, the university had decided it was better to close Sandella’s doors before the semester began, said Schmiesing.
“Rather than having it open and proceed to close it, we closed it before the students returned,” said Schmiesing. “(This way) we wouldn’t have to take Sandella’s away from the students halfway through the semester.”
Schmiesing said the hope of the university is that these new restaurants will be as popular as Sandella’s and provide more variety for the students.
“We’ve operated Sandella’s for many years really as a service for students,” said Schmiesing. “We believe this will be more exciting to have two or three more options within walking distance that is just a little different change of pace.”
Schmiesing said unlike Sandella’s, the new restaurants will not have points or meals swipes, and it is still being investigated if students can have any tie in to their meal plan with the new restaurants.
Construction crew is currently working on the west building, and in December, there will be a stoplight and a crosswalk put in to make the new restaurants more easily accessible to the students, said Schmiesing.
Though Sandella’s is closed, the building will still be utilized by the university, said Schmiesing.