By Sarah Sternhagen, Contributing Writer
Local Restaurant Row has seemingly become one of Aramark Collegiate Hospitality’s most favorable new implementations this semester. The space is currently hosting ChaTime, a Taiwanese tea house chain, which will be at the University Union until Nov. 3.
Local Restaurant Row hosts a rotating lineup of local businesses. Althea’s Almost Famous, a Jamaican catering company, was there earlier in the semester.
So far, the idea and restaurants have been received well by students.
“I like the concept of it,” freshman Eva Mourog said. “I think it’s a really good idea … Once you get tired of something you get a completely different, completely new thing.”
Some students said they enjoy the new food options, and the restaurants picked so far have been popular. Still, there are some slight criticisms about the restaurants eventually leaving.
“The [Althea’s Almost Famous] spot was really nice, and I kind of need it back,” freshman Kayla Ward said.
It’s not yet confirmed, but both Chatime and Althea’s Almost Famous’s owners said they hope to come back during the spring semester.
Aramark specifically looked into small businesses with the Women Business Enterprise and Minority Business Enterprise state certifications when choosing restaurants for the venture — something both owners said they greatly appreciated.
ChaTime owner Jenni Lau wanted students to get to know their product and brand. Chatime has a permanent location on Chesapeake Avenue uptown.
Lau said she wanted to reach students, and the positive things students say to one another about the business is the best kind of advertising to her.
“Word-of-mouth is priceless,” Lau said.
Althea Hanson, owner of Althea’s Almost Famous, agreed.
“It was a great investment overall,” she said.
She had already worked at Towson football games with her food truck and had worked with Aramark outside of Towson University. So, she said the choice to be a part of the Local Restaurant Row only felt natural.
Each restaurant has a 30-day stay at the Union. The Towerlight could not confirm with Aramark which restaurant will replace Chatime by publication Monday.