Fourth Estate/ Madalyn Godfrey

Instead of ‘The Eaterie,’ maybe it is not too late to change Mason’s mind on restaurants for SUB I


It is difficult to remember which places are open or closed when figuring out where to eat on campus. As someone who doesn’t have Instagram, I have to be old-fashioned and looking on the Mason Dining website is helpful… . Lo and behold, a new dining option has appeared.

Called “The Eaterie,” Mason Dining introduces this restaurant as “the freshest addition to the Fairfax Campus scene!” While also calling it “your go-to spot for culinary delight.”

Although I am not too sure what to make of this new retail dining option coming in Fall 2024, I am disappointed knowing that it seems it may go into the spot of what used to be the Rathskeller, a sports bar located in SUB 1 that closed in 2019. I think I have better ideas for retail dining options to go into that exact spot.

Here are the top four restaurants I believe Mason needs on campus, in no particular order.

1. Taco Bell

I think bringing back Taco Bell is a no-brainer. It has been about seven years since the restaurant shut down on campus, and students, including me, are still talking about it. There obviously seems the spirit of Taco Bell still lingers on this campus and I think for our Mason community to satisfy this spirit, and our hunger, is by bringing it back better than ever.

2. Bojangles

We need a Bojangles, not just for its lunch and dinner options, but also for its breakfast options. While I appreciate the Starbucks, Dunkin, Einstein Bagels and Panera on campus, I get tired when most of my options are a donut, a bagel sandwich, a croissant or some sweet treat. Sometimes, I just want a biscuit and make a combo meal out of it.

While the same argument could be made for having a Popeyes rather than a Bojangles, as someone from North Carolina, I will always put Bojangles on top. Plus, I think Bojangles tastes better than Popeyes.

3. Cook Out

Each year I am at Mason, I am more aware that not everyone has experienced going out past midnight for a food tray and thick milkshake from Cook Out. This needs to change and I propose bringing a Cook Out on campus.

I understand it will never be the same as pulling into one of their double drive-thrus; however, to make the Cook Out experience a true one, the hours of operation would need to be from 10:30 a.m. to 3 a.m.

4. Waffle House

Two words: Waffle House.

There are no “ifs,” “ands” or “buts” about it because we desperately need a Waffle House on campus. The location of where Rathskellar used to be has the perfect amount of space for this restaurant.

I recognize my privilege of having two waffle houses five minutes from my house and I believe everyone should have the privilege of eating here without having to drive 30 minutes to Dumfries. 

As a plus, we would then have The Waffle House Index on campus, which allows us to assess campus safety without having to wait for an email or an alert. The Waffle House would become the beacon of knowledge of campus climate.

If I had to choose just one restaurant Mason should put on campus, it would be a Waffle House because, at the end of the day, it’s not a Waffle House. It’s a Waffle Home.