On a typical weekend night – weekend morning, that is – hordes of Georgetown students head to Philly Pizza & Grill on Potomac Street to get cheap, oversized, cheesy slices drenched in ranch dressing. Many consider this a late-night tradition at Georgetown. But could the tradition be in danger?

The Advisory Neighborhood Commission of Ward 2 has relayed local residents’ complaints against Philly Pizza, arguing that it caters to drunken students late at night, bringing noise and litter to Potomac Street. The ANC, the Metropolitan Police Department, representatives from Ward 2 D.C. Councilmember Jack Evans’ office, and University President John J. DeGioia are planning to address the issue in a meeting soon. The ANC is requesting that the establishment close its doors by 11 p.m. nightly or face closure.

This request is unreasonable. Most restaurants in the area are open much later than 11 p.m., particularly on weekend nights. Demanding that Philly Pizza close so early risks cutting into an essential portion of its business and eliminating one of the most affordable options for students to get a bite to eat when little else is available.

It should be noted, however, that the ANC does have reason – beyond the noise complaints – to be dissatisfied with Philly Pizza. As part of the approval process for the restaurant’s move from 34th Street to Potomac Street, the owners of the establishment were asked to present their business proposal to the ANC. According to commissioner Bill Starrels, when the owner, Matt Kocak, was asked several straightforward questions, he was less than forthcoming in his responses.

For example, when the ANC asked Kocak if the business was related to the 34th Street establishment of a similar name, he responded “no.” It seems Kocak thought answering “yes” would diminish his chances of approval; this move was inappropriate and irresponsible. Now, the restaurant may have to pay the price for its owner’s duplicity.

Regardless, the ANC should take into consideration that many students value Philly Pizza as a fixture of Georgetown. Indeed, many students have joined a fight against the ANC by joining the Facebook group asking that Philly Pizza be allowed to remain open. At press time, the group had 1,241 members.

This group may not save the restaurant, but it does prove that Georgetown students do not want Philly Pizza to disappear any time soon. Wolfing down a quarter of a pizza pie is just as much a Georgetown tradition as Georgetown Day or a meal at The Tombs are – and it’s a tradition worth continuing.

In its consideration of neighbors’ concerns, the ANC ought to take students’ interests into account as well. Placing temporary restrictions on Philly Pizza may be reasonable, but shutting it down entirely or demanding an 11 p.m. closing time is out of the question. DeGioia or another university administrator should take an active role in echoing the student voice on this issue.

Rather than punish the establishment and thus limit its accessibility to Georgetown students, the ANC should leave it alone. Philly Pizza sells cheap pizza into the wee hours – that’s no crime, and it’s good business.

*To send a letter to the editor on a recent campus issue or Hoya story or a viewpoint on any topic, contact [opinionthehoya.com](opinionthehoya.com). Letters should not exceed 300 words, and viewpoints should be between 600 to 800 words.*”

Have a reaction to this article? Write a letter to the editor.

Comments are closed.