Fear not, fans of The Loop Pizza Grill on the Duke campus - this favorite of students, staff and faculty is getting a new home on the West Campus while the West Union Building meets the wrecking ball.
The Loop, a favorite on campus dating back to its 1999 opening, was chosen over several other restaurants vying for the space in the Bryan Center. Construction of the new Loop is expected to begin in May, with a planned opening in August.
Not only will The Loop have a new location, but it will also have a fresh, new look. The Duke campus Loop will have a design similar to a new Loop prototype restaurant that recently opened in Jacksonville, Florida.
"The new look will have more of a funky, burger brasserie feel," says Mike Slomianyj, owner/partner for The Loop at Duke. "It will be a hip, comfortable space that's not just for dining, but also for meeting, having coffee, or grabbing a beer, and just hanging out. We know students will really relate to this and we expect The Loop to be the new 'gathering place' on campus."
The new Loop design will feature three levels and incorporate warehouse-style windows, unique millwork, artwork from local students/artists, and a new seating layout with additional booths, couches, and community tables that can accommodate several people. Guests will find a very comfortable atmosphere that's perfect for watching a sporting event on one of several large televisions, or a campus event being held in the bar area. Wi-Fi will be available for those who choose to mix studies with pleasure.
The new location will have almost twice the amount of dining space that the current Loop has and will include a full bar. Adjacent to the bar will be a covered outdoor patio. "This will quickly become a natural hang out for students and faculty alike," says Dennis Lane, general manager and owner.
"We are honored to have been selected and look forward to continuing our role as one of the favorite dining establishments on campus. A significant part of our focus is on tailoring the new restaurant to meet the needs of students," says Slomianyj.
"One of the things included in the plan is to expand our catering program. There are so many opportunities, on and off campus, for catering and group events. We currently have a catering program in place, but limited space has held us back from reaching our full potential."
The Loop will add more "grab 'n go" items that will appeal to students on the run. There will be a separate pickup window for those who want to call in orders to go. Guests will also find a few new menu items, including pasta, pizza by the slice, and some dishes that will appeal to fans of the Armadillo Grill, such as southwestern pizza and an avocado salad. Students will be able to pay for their meals with food service dollars.
"We're very fortunate to have been chosen for this spot in the Bryan Center, and we are looking forward to this new challenge," says Slomianyj. "Our goal is to make The Loop the most popular place to eat on campus."