SO businesses cool off during the summer
All that was left of University Sub Shop (USubs), a sandwich shop on Irvington Avenue that was a popular place for students to buy food during the fall and spring semesters, was boarded up windows and an eviction notice that hung on the front of the building.
For students taking summer classes and those returning for the fall semester who are craving their favorite USubs fat sandwich, they will have to look somewhere else.
Although some South Orange businesses heavily rely on student customers from Seton Hall University during the fall and spring semesters, others mentioned that their customers simply change faces during the summer months, having little effect on their business profit.
An employee at Number One Chinese Restaurant who wished to remain anonymous explained that the restaurant staff missed out on business during the summer months that they normally received from SHU students during the regular school year.
“We get less business when students leave for the summer,” the employee said. “Every store is hoping for the summer to be over. Once June and July are over, then the students come back.”
General manager Paul Sirotto at Bowtie Cinemas, which is next to the South Orange Performing Arts Center, said they do not have to plan ahead for the summer months.
“We pretty much do the same thing,” Sirotto said. “We don’t really lose that much business when the summer hits because we still have the younger kids and adults.”
Tito’s Burritos general manager Carlos Robinson said he felt similarly to Sirotto.
“Obviously we always welcome the Pirates coming back in town, but I wouldn’t be able to say if there’s a loss per say because there’s a lot of variables,” Robinson said. “People vacation anyways so summer is different than winter and fall. We kind of play it by year.”
Robinson added that even though the majority of students are away during the summer, there are still staff and students on campus for summer classes that come in.
“There are students from other colleges that come back to live in town for the summer,” Robinson said. “It’s just a different blend of people over the summer and we adjust accordingly.”
Occupational therapist graduate student Dana Dellavalle commutes to SHU for summer classes.
“The other day I was there for long hours so I got a slice of pizza from the Village Trattoria,” Dellavalle said. “There were some families in there, but not as many students.”
Anthony Starzynski, a sophomore accounting major who, despite living a town over in Maplewood, does not usually go to the same businesses as when he is at school.
“I rarely go to businesses in South Orange now, I mostly go to Maplewood since I live in Maplewood,” Starzynski said. “However if I do go, they seem crowded with all of the other college kids back from school.”
Alexandra Gale can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.