I think I can speak for everyone when I say that the closing of Qdoba — a fast casual restaurant that served Mexican-style cuisine — on the Corner was nothing short of a travesty. This late-night hot spot was a hub for hungry college students headed home from a night on the town, and its elimination created quite the stir within the student community.
Naturally, when construction began on the building, we only had one question: What would fill this space?
Of course, we all theorized a range of replacements: a nail salon, candy store, diner, Italian restaurant, sushi restaurant, Chipotle, the list goes on and on. All we could do now was wait until they pulled down the tarps and gave us a peek.
That fateful day came and went in a gust of disappointment. A bank? Really?
Sure, it looked cool, with its futuristic computers and color-coordinated interior. But, let’s face it. Banks are foreign to us college kids. We never dare enter because our parents set that up a while ago, and we don’t really know how they work. Not to mention the fact that we can check balances, transfer money, etc. on our phones. This is all just a long-winded way of saying that we probably didn’t even need one, let alone two, banks on the Corner.
Picture this: It’s 30 years from now and you’re walking down the street with your kids, telling them about the “good ole days” back in college. First stop is Bodo’s Bagels. “Ah, there was nothing like grabbing a bacon, egg and cheese on a sunny Saturday morning with your pals,” you say. They smile at you in admiration. Next stop is the Virginian. “What a great old place this is. We used to get up and dance on the tables at night.” By now, they’re very impressed. Then comes Corner Juice, followed by Trinity, then Little John’s — all places full of memories, laughs, kind staff and familiar faces. As you descend the stairs towards Boylan, you realize you’ve reached the eyesore of the Corner. A monstrosity of computers, checkbooks, suits and briefcases, all wedged between so much culture and history. But wait, it gets worse. As you look closer you come to a shocking realization. “I can’t believe it,” you choke out the words as a pit forms in your stomach. The bank has doubled in size, devouring our beloved White Spot in the process.
This paints a pretty gruesome picture, doesn’t it?
So, I ask you: How long will it be before our street is unrecognizable? How long will we let this go on? Imagine fearing that one day Harris Teeter would knock down the Rotunda to open a new branch. Sure, this seems extreme. But the Corner is our cultural hub, our “World Heritage Site” if you may, and the demolition of its current state would undoubtedly break the hearts of our students and alumni.
The Corner needs protection. Qdoba did not go softly into the night. According to speculation, it was a thriving business that was forced out of its location because of a rent increase. We cannot allow such greed to plague our prized street. Otherwise, who’s to say which business is next?
Tess Toland is a humor columnist for The Cavalier Daily. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.