After being closed for renovations, the Levee is reopening Wednesday, Jan. 31. Since the on-campus pizzeria opened in 1996, it has been under the ownership of several different restaurants and food providers, including Sodexo, the supplier of the Tully.
Since the beginning of the 2017-18 school year, John’s Best Pizza has been providing for the Levee. According to the Director of Conference & Event Management Matt Dinnan, the renovations were made in order to better accommodate the style of the most recent management.
The building has not been changed since its inception in 1995. The renovation will include a new roof, a bar wrapping around the restaurant and an expanded kitchen. The changes to the building are necessary due to its age, but are also being made in an attempt to make the pizzeria a warmer environment for Fairfield students, faculty and staff.
“Recently, Fairfield students have not been as interested in going to The Levee for a number of reasons, one being that Fairfield prep students go there during lunch. We’re hoping to redirect prep students and make The Levee more of a hangout for University students,” said Dinnan.
The end goal for Dinnan is to have the The Levee be a choice destination for lunch and dinner for students. It will continue to accept StagBucks, cash and credit card.
The soft open will take place Jan. 31, but the full menu will be available next week. They will also release a website so students can order online and have it delivered to their dorm or apartment.
“Even though it has more options, I would still be more likely to do takeout. I haven’t eaten there while I’ve been at Fairfield,” said Cate Halley ’20.
John’s Best participation in the Levee will be overseen by Claudio Sanfrancesco, an Italian immigrant who has been in the restaurant business for over 30 years. He has owned restaurants in New York City, Milford, Conn. and New Haven, Conn. While delivery is still an option, the menu has been changed to give it a more sit-down feel.
The renovations were supposed to be made this summer but due to the amount of construction projects being completed, the improvements had to wait until the winter break. In hopes to make the restaurant more intimate, there are new menu options, including various pasta dishes, and more seating.
“I always thought there was a bit of potential to the Levee, but I feel like with this new menu it will be the new hot spot on campus,” said Moses Olimpio ‘19, who has seen the pizzeria under three different owners.