Emerson College’s only independent, student-run newspaper since 1947

The Berkeley Beacon

Emerson College’s only independent, student-run newspaper since 1947

The Berkeley Beacon

Emerson College’s only independent, student-run newspaper since 1947

The Berkeley Beacon

College looks for healthier restaurant after Griddler’s closing

The college bought 134-136 Boylston St. on May 28, 2018, for $7 million. Anissa Gardizy / Beacon Staff

Editor’s Note: This article was updated on 1/23/18 to include the revenue for 134-136 Boylston St. 

The college contacted various retail brokers to help find another eatery to fill the space Griddler’s Burgers & Dogs formerly occupied at 134 Boylston Street, according to a college official.

Senior Associate Vice President for Real Estate Arthur Mombourquette said he hopes the college can attract a restaurant with a healthier menu after Griddler’s closed at the beginning of January. The college told the potential brokers to look for a new vendor that would accept ECCash, according to Mombourquette.  

“I don’t think [Griddler’s] offered anything special or unique. Our goal would be to offer something that is different than what you can get elsewhere,” Mombourquette said in an interview. “Maybe something that [instead of] competing with the Dining Center, compliments it and offers something different.”

Freshman Charlie McKenna said he never returned to Griddler’s after his first visit in fall 2018.

“The food was fine—it’s pretty hard to mess up a burger. It was just a little expensive for what you got,” McKenna said. “At one point, I was wanting to get a burger, but the thought of going back to Griddler’s did not cross my mind.”

A cheeseburger, fries, and medium drink combo at Griddler’s costs about $11. The same meal would cost about $11 at MOOYAH Burgers, Fries and Shakes and about $15 at Five Guys—both restaurants are less than half a mile away from the college. The meal would also cost about $11 at Emerson’s Max Cafe.

Griddler’s was a part of the Boston Nightlife Ventures group, a company that manages restaurants and bars in the Boston area. Chief Executive Officer of the company Euz Azevedo told Eater Boston, a local food and dining site, that the company plans to focus on their larger restaurants and does not plan to reopen another burger place like Griddler’s.

“As a company, we have been shutting down our smaller operations in favor of focusing on our bigger restaurants,” Azevedo said to Eater Boston in an email. “Unless BNV were to open multi-units of the concept, it does not make business sense to keep a small operation. It’s basically too much headache for little profit.”

The college bought 134-136 Boylston, the building that housed the former burger restaurant for less than four years, on May 28, 2018, for $7 million. Mombourquette said the college was aware that the restaurant might be closing when they bought the building.

“We had a sense that they might be closing, and we saw this as an opportunity to bring something fresh and new in there,” Mombourquette said. “We parted amicably.”

The college purchased the building to bring in revenue and maintain control over what businesses neighbor the downtown Boston campus. Mombourquette said 134-136 Boylston St. brings in approximately $350,000 a year. 

“The building drives a fair amount of revenue,” he said. “We do want to be in control, as much as we can, of what happens around our campus.” 

Mombourquette told the Beacon that the college had no plans to use the space in the building when they purchased 134-136 Boylston. The building consists of the space left by the Griddler’s restaurant after closing, and three occupied rental apartments. The college honored the existing leases of the building’s tenants when they purchased the building, according to Mombourquette.

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