After months of delays, Peirce Express finally opened Wednesday to the delight and surprise of hungry students. The “soft launch,” which was announced via email just 30 minutes before lunch began, was only for seniors. Peirce Express will continue with a series of soft launches this week, opening to juniors on Thursday and sophomores on Friday before opening to the entire campus for regular operation on Monday.
First announced back in September and slated to open in the fall, the fast-dining option has faced numerous delays. The space is meant to ease lines in Peirce Dining Hall, which have been particularly long this year because of Kenyon’s increasing enrollment. It will feature grab-and-go-style lunch options like the Mediterranean bowls it served on Wednesday. It is located in the space formerly occupied by Chilitos, which it will share with the planned student-run bar FLATS. Indoor and outdoor seating is available, but students will also be able to take food (which is served in to-go containers) out of the dining space.
Student Council Housing and Dining Chairperson Ever Croffoot-Suede ’23 explained that the restricted opening was chosen due to limited AVI staff, and to allow the staff to get used to a new space. It will open for the entire campus from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. five days a week starting Monday. According to Resident Director of AVI Ryan Summers, around 150 people came to the soft launch, which he described as very successful. “We had very good feedback today from a lot of the senior class,” he said.
Both Croffoot-Suede and Summers emphasized the important role Peirce Express will play in complementing the dining options on campus. Summers said he hopes it will shorten lines in Peirce, and Croffoot-Suede said it will be key for students living on North Campus. “I live in a [North Campus Apartment] this year, and if I want to grab a quick snack, it makes it much easier to stop by Peirce Express for lunch than to go all the way down to Peirce,” she said. “And since it’s on the meal plan, it’s no extra money for students. So I’m very excited for Peirce Express. I think it’s very needed.”
News Editor Hannah Dourgarian contributed to reporting.