ISABEL BINAMIRA FOR THE HOYA Epicurean has become a popular hub for late-night socializing on the weekends since it extended its hours in May 2013, but it still draws low numbers of customers on weeknights.
ISABEL BINAMIRA FOR THE HOYA
Epicurean has become a popular hub for late-night socializing on the weekends since it extended its hours in May 2013, but it still draws low numbers of customers on weeknights.

Epicurean and Company has begun to break even in its venture to remain open 24 hours a day, six days a week, during the academic year. Although the restaurant still has not made a profit since round-the-clock hours were implemented in September 2013, it has begun to attract a larger late-night crowd, according to Epicurean owner Chang Wook Chon.

Last fall, Chon told The Hoya that he estimated that an average of about 80 customers ate at the restaurant during its off-peak hours of 11 p.m. through 2 a.m.

Now, Chon says that Epicurean averages about 300 customers between 10:30 p.m. and 6 a.m. on weekends. During the week, however, that number dwindles to around 100 customers between the same hours.

Chon said that he keeps Epicurean open 24 hours not to drive a profit but to build a sense of community at Georgetown.

“I’m very happy about that, that I can contribute to the community,” Chon said. “I’m not looking for a profit. As long as I can break even, even if I am losing a little bit of money, I love to do it.”

However, Chon said that he was hoping to speak with the university in the near future and rework the terms of his contract so that Epicurean would close at 10:30 p.m. on Sunday nights and at 2:00 a.m. on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday nights while remaining open 24 hours during the weekend.

Vice President of Auxiliary Service Joelle Wiese said that the university is not currently considering changing Epicurean’s operational hours.

“Students and the overall community seem to like the flexibility that Epicurean offers with the menu and the hours of operation,” Wiese wrote in an email. “At this point we are not looking to change the hours of operation.”

Currently, Epicurean closes at 10:30 p.m. on Sundays and reopens at 6:30 a.m. on Monday mornings.

“The staff I have, they have to work overnight. It’s a very tough job,” Chon said.

The night manager at Epicurean is in process of recording the number of patrons the restaurant experiences on a nightly basis. At the end of the semester, Chon plans to analyze the data before discussing any potential schedule changes with the university.

The restaurant originally switched to a round-the-clock schedule as a way to bring more students back to campus, according to Chon and Wiese. Chon said that prior to the all-night schedule, students did not have a place to go on campus late in the evening, leading them to hang out on the street and make noise.

Rodrigo Mercado (MSB ’17) often studies in Epicurean during the week in the middle of the night, and said that there are usually only a few other students in the restaurant when he is there.

“Compared to the weekends, it’s not a lot of people. I usually see maybe four or five people studying there until around 4 or 5 a.m.,” Mercado said.

“I think we can contain those students over here. I think that so far it has worked out,” Chon said.

Wiese added that Epicurean’s late night hours not only provide options at night but give residents in Darnall added convenience.

“I’ve talked to some of the students living in Darnall, and they love the fact that they can walk right downstairs to Epi.,” Wiese said.“It’s one of those things that just has got its own appeal.”

Darnall resident Jack Romine (COL ’18) said he appreciates the accessibility and community atmosphere at the restaurant.

“Epicurean really is just the one good part about living in Darnall,” Romine said. “If you’re writing a paper or are up until 4 a.m. doing your homework, you can always just go down to Epicurean after and have a quesadilla. Or if you’re out on a Friday or Saturday night, Epicurean is always there to welcome you back into its warm embrace of greasy food.”

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