Camp Yale brings money to local restaurants

Camp Yale is synonymous with not only carefree partying but also upperclassmen buying their own food.

The freshmen dining plan became active Aug. 28 while the upperclassmen plan did not begin until Aug. 31. So during the week before the start of classes, upperclassmen traveled in packs to various restaurants and shops around campus to eat. Five upperclassmen interviewed Sunday said students spend between $15 to $20 a day on food during Camp Yale. But once class starts, the cafés get all the big bucks,the studentssaid, because they need coffee to stay energized forclasses.

All five upperclassmen interviewed said they would prefer the dining halls to be open earlier for them.

This year, with the closure of Shaw’s supermarket last spring, Gourmet Heaven has especially benefited from the influx of student shoppers during Camp Yale. Four of the five students interviewed said they have bought food at Gourmet Heaven because there were no other grocers near campus.

“Buying groceries was difficult, besides the overpriced food at Gourmet Heaven,” said Megan Salas ’13.

Nevertheless, business has been down at the convenience store on Broadway since classes started. This drop in sales happens every year, said Margarito Zamara, Gourmet Heaven’s assistant manager.

“Business went down right away,” said Zamara.

Hari Ganesan ’13, who moved into Yale a week before school started, said he spent about $15 a day buying lunch and dinner. Food from Gourmet Heaven and other cheap restaurants cost him more than $100 during Camp Yale.

“It wouldn’t be difficult to open just one dining hall, like during the summer,” Ganesan added.

Having her parents around during Camp Yale made her dining situation better, Kristen Wright ’12 said. She said that while she wished that the dining halls were open earlier, eating out with her parents at restaurants, such as Prime 16, was enjoyable.

Malik Jenkins ’13 agreed, adding that having dinner with friends in restaurants is more relaxing than sitting together in the dining hall. The $130 he spent during Camp Yale was worth it, Jenkins said, adding that he discovered new restaurants, such as Samurai.

“You don’t get the feeling of the daily grind as much,” Jenkins said.

But cafés around campus seem to benefit more from the daily grind of students. Both Au Bon Pain and Blue State Coffee saw more customers as classes started.

Au Bon Pain had an influx of student customers during Camp Yale and the numbers increased even more as students began going to morning classes, said barista Kristi Stoyak. During the school year, the café-sandwich shop is busiest during lunch hour, Stoyak added.

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