Section: News

Peirce Express and Flats bar set to open after spring break

After a series of delays, Peirce Express, a planned fast-casual dining space operated by AVI, and Flats, the long-awaited student bar, are scheduled to open the week after spring break. The new timeline for opening comes after a December prediction from the Gambier Village Council that the new dining space would open this month.

Ryan Summers, the resident director of AVI Fresh at Kenyon, said that difficulty with licensing and equipment has been the main reason for the delays. “We have to get permits to be able to move equipment and put some equipment in the kitchen part [of the space],” he said. “That’s what we’re kind of waiting on before we can get equipment in, and then we can start getting everything else set in place.” Summers mentioned that AVI will continue operating some of the equipment Chilitos used, but that Peirce Express’ more expansive menu requires additional equipment.

In addition to acquiring new equipment, Summers mentioned that AVI will need to hire new workers to staff Peirce Express. “We’ll have to get additional workers just because I don’t want to take away staffing from Peirce,” he said. AVI is considering hiring student workers, hourly workers and supervisors, Summers said.

When Peirce Express opens, Summers anticipates that its hours will be limited to lunch Monday through Friday — a change from the initial plan of 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week. Summers emphasized that the diminished hours will likely only be temporary, lasting for the remainder of spring semester. Flats, which will also have food available for purchase, will be open on Fridays and Saturdays from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m., with a 12:30 a.m. last call. According to co-manager Rocco Danese ’23, Flats hopes to begin operating Wednesday through Saturday after a few weeks.

Unlike Peirce Dining Hall, Peirce Express will require students to show their K-cards to receive their meal as part of the meal plan. “That’s how we’ll know that they’re Kenyon students,” Summers said. “It’ll be just a meal equivalency, you’ll get a bowl or a chicken sandwich or whatever it is by showing that I.D.” 

Vice President for Student Affairs Celestino Limas praised AVI for its work on the project. “I know they’re working really hard,” he said. “Hopefully spring break can be a chance to try and get some things done.” Despite the delays, Peirce Express and Flats are sure to be a welcome addition to the Hill when students return from spring break. 


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