The new College Road Cafe & Market, formerly known as On The Fly, reopened last week with new flatbread pizzas and drinks on tap, including iced tea, cold brew coffee, and kombucha. The new design is part of a two-phase transformation that aims to create a student hang-out space that can be used for musical performances and to foster a coffeehouse atmosphere.
As the goal of Boston College Dining is to cater to student needs and concerns, the staff has been looking to make changes that could improve the student dining experience on campus. The project has been underway for the past three to four years, as staff met with student organizations to determine what the best steps would be to accommodate the growing student population.
The first phase is now complete—the pizza ovens are functional, tap is available for iced tea and cold brew, and the new entrance is through the attached side room rather than directly into the cafe as it was before. The second phase, which is to be completed sometime this summer, includes replacing the wall between the side room and the cafe with glass, installing new faux hardwood floors, and purchasing furniture to create a comfortable and inviting space.
In addition to stylistic changes, the CoRo Cafe is looking to implement GET, which allows students to order their food online and then pick it up in the store. While they plan to have this service up and running this semester, possibly right after spring break, they are also looking to establish GET Delivery at some point, which will allow students to have pizzas delivered directly to their doors.
The pizzas available to order have a regular crust option and a gluten-free cauliflower one, which is cooked in a separate oven from the ones containing gluten. All of the flatbreads are inspired by BC: “The Gasson,” “The Heights,” “The Screaming Eagle,” “The Coro,” and “The Plex,” all of which are unique flatbreads with different toppings than those found in the traditional dining halls.
Although there have been some items removed from the shelves, Michael Forcier, the manager of the updated cafe, is confident that they strategically picked which products not to repurchase so that students would not be affected. They chose the top 50 best sellers and kept those, which included mac-and-cheese cups, Nutrigrain bars, and various drinks. The least popular items, ravioli in a can and pancake mix, will no longer be offered.
During its first day open, the CoRo Cafe sold over 60 pizzas, and Forcier anticipates that this number will rise even higher after they have a grand opening, with more advertising and free samples.
Kira Saunders, LSOE ’18, has been working at On The Fly since her freshman year, and has experienced firsthand all of the changes that it has undergone. When she began working, they didn’t have Starbucks or pizza. Saunders is excited to see the changes that the project brings.
“It’s definitely more exciting,” Saunders said of her job since the soft opening.
Students like Saunders have made the project not only possible, but exciting, according to Forcier. He is “proud and blessed” to have such an incredible staff, and he’s excited to work with them throughout the year. Currently consisting of 25 to 30 students, the staff is still growing as the CoRo Cafe expands its services.
“This place is for the students, run by the students,” Forcier said.
Featured Image by Sam Zhai / Heights Staff