Burritos Beneath the Stars at the Wedge
March 6, 2014
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Until recently, the aptly-named Milky Way Cafe sat beneath the planetarium dark and idle with its doors closed. Now hungry folks will have a new place to grab some a burrito or some potato wedges: The Wedge.
After several attempts to keep the Milky Way open on campus, the college has decided to take a different route. The space has been leased to an outside vendor.
Examining several potential prospects, Ron Nakasone, executive vice president of administrative services, reached a lease agreement with Eugene Chun, the owner and president of World Coffee Kiosk.
After a long process of negotiations, several vendors dropped out of consideration due to the rental price demands. Nakasone narrowed the selection down to three contractors that included Mexican, Mid-Eastern/Mediterranean and American health food, before finally deciding on Chun’s healthy American food option.
Nakasone said that the school was looking for vendors with business experience, success in past ventures, and a type of shop that would not compete with the campus cafeteria. Chun, through his World Coffee Kiosk company, owns the Cafe located in front of the San Rafael building, which has had great success.
According to Chun, the college approached him about leasing the available space previously occupied by the Milky Way. He accepted a six-year lease contract with the college. Chun said he expects a projected revenue of $180,000 annually.
“The way the cafeteria is structured, unfortunately, is not generating enough revenue,” said Nakasone. “The Milky Way [building] is a way to redistribute money by collecting on space rented.”
Nakasone said the school is looking at about $35,000 to $40,000 a year in revenue from the rental.
Chun said he plans to sell healthy, but inexpensive food. He said because his son is also a student, he understands the dilemma students face between eating cheap, unhealthy foods or maintaining a healthier yet more expensive diet.
Chun said the Wedge will serve fries that are pre-steamed and only fried for a few seconds as opposed to the grease-oozing fries found in many fast-food restaurants.
The new restaurant will also be serving Chipotle-style burritos, potato wedges, wraps and boba drinks that come in several flavors.
“The pricing will be less than our [local] competitors and will not be diminished in quality.” said Chun.
The restaurant plans to open next week and the hours of operation will be from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Friday.