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Alice’s Restaurant Update: Better Food and Hours in the Student Market


By Shelby Meek

Featured Image: Alice’s Restaurant closed with construction on the side. | PC: Mich Rouse ’24

Alice’s Restaurant closes for the second time to expand the food services and hours in the student market. The restaurant in the Athenaeum closed in Spring 2020 due to the outbreak of COVID-19 but reopened in Fall 2022. At that point, the restaurant was last fully operational for the Fall 2019 semester.

Alice’s closed on January 27th this year during winter break but stopped operation at the end of the Fall 2023 semester.

An email was sent out by Dr. Aarika Camp, Vice President of Student Affairs, on January 16th this year, where she briefly mentioned that Alice’s closure will help the expansion of the Student Market.

“For the Spring 2024 semester, we will be exploring the expansion of the Student Market with the closure of Alice’s.”

The space where Alice’s Restaurant used to be on February 24, 2024. | PC: Mich Rouse ’24

The email also mentions that with the sacrifice of Alice’s, there will be new changes and improvements to the Student Market. Two of the major changes include more availability to serve hot food and longer hours in the student market.

Dr. Camp says that students, especially athletes, are limited to the small amount of hot food options in Alice’s due to having late practices or tournaments. 

“We didn’t have the capability to serve hot food in Alice’s.”

Closing Alice’s responds positively to the needs of the students and athletes to have better and hotter food options.

“The closing was really to extend the hours and provide hot food,” said David Friendlich, General Manager of Bon Appétit. 

Dr. Camp also mentioned in the email that there will be an increase in Pick 3 items and retail items to purchase. 

“Students now want more food, not necessarily a coffee or a cold sandwich,” she says. “We realized that we could provide more out of the Student Market than we can in Alice’s. 

“It also allows us to provide more food options later.”

Friendlich and Dr. Camp said they had to go through the Student Government Association (SGA) for feedback on expanding the Student Market’s hours and food options, along with discussing with athletes about Alice’s closing and their concerns. 

“We had a bunch of students, especially from athletes, telling us that they do not have anywhere to eat and there are not a lot of healthy options to eat,” Dr. Camp said.

However, this was not an easy task cost-wise. 

Dr. Camp and Friendlich said that Student Affairs, Finances, and Bon Appétit had to invest money to close Alice’s in order to expand the Student Market hours and food options. 

“We had to invest money to close Alice’s,” Friendlich said. “We would rather spend more money getting students hot food rather than giving them a cold turkey sandwich.”

Many improvements and changes were made to improve the student market’s business and expansions. However, students, like James Mullooly ‘24 and Hayle Burton ‘27, were left shocked to hear the unexpected news of the restaurant closing. 

“I thought that Goucher was going to improve on Alice’s instead of closing it down,” Burton said.

“That, I think, is where the unexpectedness came from.”

Dr. Camp’s email on January 16th talked mostly about the expansion of the Student Market instead of highlighting the fact of Alice’s closing.

Student Market hours. | PC: Mich Rouse ’24

“I wanted to know why they needed to close,” Mullooly said. 

“Alice’s was a distinctive part of campus culture.”

“People, both students and staff workers, do miss the atmosphere Alice’s delivers.”

The space where the tables of Alice’s Restaurant used to be on February 24, 2024. | PC: Mich Rouse ’24

Alice’s, according to students, was a huge communal spot for students to study and eat with their peers. The space where Alice’s was located is going to be used for event spaces until the administration can figure out what to build out of Alices, where students and staff can get more food and services. 

“It is not gone forever, but we do not know what Alice’s will be when it comes back,” Dr. Camp said.

“It will depend on who the students are in the future at Goucher.”

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