To the lament of many students, last November marked the end of Old School Pizzeria’s tenure on campus. Occupying a small, cobblestone corner of the Levee, the on-campus bar, the Old School Pizzeria was a popular hangout spot due to its wide array of sandwiches and pizzas that appealed to a variety of tastes and palates. On Nov. 16, The Mirror reported that the Old School Pizzeria would be closed due to a mutual agreement between The Nauti Dolphin, who took ownership of the Old School Pizzeria in 2014 and the University.

However, on Jan. 18, Fairfield University formally announced the implementation of The Levee Pizza Kitchen, a Sodexo-operated restaurant that has taken the place of the once renowned Old School Pizzeria.

I took it upon myself, along with two staff members, to trek back to the Levee to try out The Levee Pizza Kitchen. When I entered, I had noticed no differences between the current restaurant and its former, except the fact that the menu was significantly smaller, offering a fraction of the options available last semester in terms of pizzas and grinders, which was mildly disappointing. To add insult to injury, I noticed that the meals coming out were exactly like the fare at Rob & Iggy’s at The Stag Snack Bar.

Nonetheless, I played it safe and ordered a chicken parmesan grinder, after realizing I was unable to purchase individual slices of pizza, which is only available as personal pizzas and whole pies. This caused an immediate rift for me as I became aware that this would cause many students to resort to purchasing pizza from off campus vendors.

After the 15-minute wait period, which seemed a little long considering that it often only takes approximately seven minutes to order the same meal at Rob & Iggy’s, I chomped down on my grinder only to notice that it was exactly the same texture and taste of a grinder I could purchase at Rob & Iggy’s, burnt and dry. Regardless, I knew I wouldn’t be getting my mother’s hearty chicken parmesan, so I passed this sandwich off as normal fare and silently enjoyed my grinder.

As for my compatriots, they ordered a cheese pizza and mozzarella sticks, and a buffalo chicken grinder. Unfortunately for my co-worker who ordered the buffalo chicken grinder, it was delivered as a BBQ chicken grinder and had to be returned, but effort can be noted on the staff as they gave her orders of mozzarella sticks and curly fries while she waited for her grinder, which was a genuine gesture.

However, when it came to the food, I could walk less of a distance to The Stag to receive the same food for the same price, with the only difference being the superior quality of service received at The Levee Pizza Kitchen. Also note that the Levee will stop deliveries, with only takeout and catering as options. If you’re looking for a break from the norm, The Levee Pizza Kitchen is a great spot to hang out to grab a beer and a personal pizza, but if you find yourself quick for time or just want the simplicity of the food, go to The Stag.

Stars: 2.75 out of 5

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