Fast-casual restaurants to occupy Little Building retail spaces


Photo: Anissa Gardizy / Special to The Berkeley Beacon

The college plans to fill the currently vacant Little Building retail spaces with restaurants.

By Diana Bravo, Copyeditor/Photographer

The college plans to lease seven different spaces in the Little Building to six fast-casual restaurants and hopes to announce the first few leases within a month, according to a college official.

“We’re looking at some really cool tenants that are going to offer a variety of dining experiences so the students will have the ability to stay within campus but offset the times when they just don’t feel like going to the dining center to eat,” Assistant Vice President of Facilities and Campus Services Duncan Pollock said.

Pollock said all the restaurants will accept ECCash, as per the terms of their lease, but they will not accept Board Bucks or meal swipes.

“Most if not all of the six tenants will be restaurants for our community as well as the people who work and visit the downtown corridor,” President M. Lee Pelton said at the Faculty Institute Meeting on Tuesday. “I often get asked ‘Who are the tenants?’ and my answer has been and will remain for a while, ‘I’m not telling.’”

The leases will start Jan. 2 and last ten years with the option of a five year extension Pollock said. After 15 years, the college and the tenants will renegotiate the lease should the restaurants choose to stay. Pollock also said the businesses will likely take a few months to open because they have to furnish the spaces. 

Pollock refused to state specifics on lease prices citing ongoing negotiations, but said the college is offering the spaces around the market rate, which he said is $50-$100 per square foot. 

Although the college has seven spaces available to lease, Pollock said one tenant will likely take two spaces, leaving the college with six tenants. The college has 13,885 square feet available to lease, which means the college could make between $694,250 and $1,388,500 from the spaces in total.

“I feel like it’s going to be a really great option for students to have,” SGA Executive Vice President Will Palauskas said.

Pollock said the college started working on these deals in June 2019, because the college wanted the sidewalk in front of the Little Building to be in the best possible condition when the businesses open. 

“[Finding tenants] is kind of driven around the sidewalk project … We didn’t want tenants to move in while the sidewalk is all dug up,” Pollock said.

Anissa Gardizy contributed reporting to this article.