For me, campus gentrification started with Brenen’s Cafe my freshman year in 2013. My roommate and I rolled out of our bunks adorn in a classic Sunday morning hangover—cotton sweatpants from high school with our last names on the ass, Block “O” cheek cheer partially rubbed off, and reeking of Lady Bligh. It was early in the first semester so we hadn’t really ventured outside of the dining halls yet. But we struck out, looking for some non-campus curated biscuits and gravy as peace offerings for our livers.
We came upon a place called Brenen’s Cafe on High Street. Neither of us were impressed but they had carbs and after walking what felt like a 5k (it was only four blocks from our Park Strad digs), it was time to settle.
I don’t know what we ordered, what we talked about, or which one of us threw up in the bathroom (from the booze, not food), but for some reason that morning has always stuck with me.
But then poof; Brenen’s disappeared and plans were made for it to be replaced with some big stupid mixed-use development.
If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you never got to experience Brenen’s mediocre breakfast menu and that’s okay. But there’s also a good chance you never got to experience the disgusting tradition of jumping into a duck pond while yelling obscenities about the team up north like I had the privilege of doing before I graduated. For that, I am truly sorry.
But the bad news continues; campus gentrification didn’t start with Brenen’s or end with Mirror Lake. In fact, it’s recently claimed another one of our beloved cornerstones: Adriatico’s Pizza on 11th and Neil Avenue.
It hurts to see the death toll of our Ohio State favorites continue to rise but we will get through this together.
So come now, walk with me through the five stages of grief so that we can all reach a point of acceptance.
So you’re telling me that Domino’s Pizza next to Little Bar can get a brand spanking new store but Adriaticos, a restaurant with 30+ years of experience to boast, is getting the boot? Oh, oh and Pad Pizza? You’re really going to continue to let that thin, oily, pathetic excuse for a pizza be delivered to the dorms? Meanwhile a joint that has its own t-shirt at Homage can’t be saved?! No way. Do you realize how ludicrous that sounds? Ha, Adriatico’s meeting the OSU wrecking ball, good one.
*&^%@(*Don’t f*** with our pizza**&¶§∞¢you mother*º&^%**you no good, sons of *•#*%ºª™THE HORROR*&^#Wait until I get a piece of you, you dirty*&$ºª@ Is nothing sacred anymore?!
Hey, Ohio State, if the entire undergrad body promises to change their Carmen passwords the first time Bob Gribben sends and email reminder, can we please have Adriatico’s back? Hell, we’ll even give you Mirror La… oh wait, you already took that. Alright, I usually get too sloppy at Beat the Clock at the O anyways so just take it….that’s right, that’s toast too. Okay fine you can have Too’s…..GOD DAMN IT.
On the remnant carpet in Park Strad, room 529. That was the first time I got to taste your bodacious, cheesy, deep dish. My friends and I slid your box back and forth across the floor as we swapped drunk pieces and hungover-ly reached for another fat, square piece to soak up our sins from the night before. But don’t think I’ve forgotten the time in 2014 when you came as New York Style. I stuffed your delectably thing, triangular being into a red solo cup and called it Pizza Cup. I don’t know why I did that but all my friends laughed.
Adriatico’s, you may have been only a small part of my gigantic college adventure but you were a meaningful one. I don’t know if I’ll be able to love again…
How many time have you been in the car with your mom or dad when they’ve pointed to a vacant lot or a new apartment building and said, “I remember when that used to be ___.” Well my friends, we have become our parents.
It’s painful to watch a place where so many of our college memories were made be destroyed by The Man’s giant Tonka Toy but unfortunately, things like the gentrification of OSU staples are facets of progress. Plus, if it weren’t for progress, development never would’ve occurred at 265 W. 11th Ave. which means we never would’ve been graced with Adriatico’s in the first place, right?
As I learned in a montage of the Harry Potter cast throughout the years set to the song “March on” by OneRepublic, time does in fact march on.
And you know what? It might just be okay.
Just keep your dirty paws off Thompson and Out-R-Inn, got it?