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Quad Grille Reopens, Reinventing Pfoho’s Late-Night Scene

The Quad Grille sign, pictured in 2011.
The Quad Grille sign, pictured in 2011. By Stephanie B. Garlock

The Quad Grille, a late-night restaurant operated by students, fully reopened on Halloweekend for the first time this year.

Following a grand opening on Oct. 27, the grille, located in the Junior Common Room of Pforzheimer House, now allows students to grab a late snack past dining hall hours every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m.

Customer Rick Z. Zhou ’25 said the Grille has a “wholesome” environment — students were playing Mario Kart and engaging in conversation, he said, as he sampled the grille’s dinosaur shaped chicken nuggets.

“I would say, unequivocally, my life is at least 200 percent improved,” Zhou said during his first-ever trip to the grille on Friday.

“My Board Plus is running low, and I regret that I was spending it on other places apart from the Quad Grille,” he added.

The Grille is managed by Pfoho residents Jane Y. Rhee ’23 and Melinda F. Meng ’23, who decided to take on a management role after seeing an announcement from the Pforzheimer House Faculty Dean seeking new leadership.

Rhee said she values the hands-on experience that comes with operating the Grille, which cannot be gained in a classroom environment.

”I thought it’d be such a cool opportunity to run a mini business with my best friend and my blockmates,” she said.

Since the grille reopened, Rhee observed that “a lot of people come out” to the Junior Common Room, estimating that 90 students are served by the grille each night.

“I think the grille was something that was missing for a long time,” Rhee said.

The grille attracts customers through social media promotions, offering free food in exchange for student reposts.

“Quad Grille posted on Instagram that if you repost this, then you get free waffle fries only this weekend,” Alex Lee ’25 said. “We saw it on the shuttle here and were like, ‘Oh my god, we have to get free waffle fries.’”

According to Evan J. Reynolds ’25, assistant manager of the Grille, word of mouth has been central to the grille’s initial popularity.

“In the Quad, it’s such a good community here that people are just talking about it,” he said. “I think a lot of people came because they were with friends who knew that the grille was open.”

The Quad Grille also distinguishes itself from the other house grilles through its unique weekly themed menu.

During opening week, which fell on Halloweekend, the menu’s offerings included fried cheesecake with berry blood and a Frankenstein milkshake.

Next week, the grille will offer a Korean-themed menu complete with kimchi cheese quesadillas, dumplings, and mango shaved ice.

Brayden H. Orpello-McCoy ’24 said he appreciates that students can now “get food that is quality” with BoardPlus even after missing dinner.

Lane M. Theander ’24 agreed with Orpello-McCoy, noting that he likes being able to have food “past when the dining hall is open.”

Cronkhite resident and grille customer Ricardo S. Marrero-Alattar ’25 added that, aside from providing easier access to food, the Quad Grille could enhance the late night Quad social scene.

“I think that it’ll provide an avenue for people to be more willing to attend Quad parties, especially given the late hours,” he said.

Marrero-Alattar added that the Quad Grille can also motivate students to make the trip to the Quad “for a late night adventure.”

Correction: November 10, 2022:

A previous version of this article incorrectly stated the Quad Grille reopened in October for the first time since the Covid-19 pandemic. In fact, the grille opened for the first time this year. It was open several days last academic year.

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Food and DrinkPforzheimerQuadFront Middle Feature