If there is one big weakness I have, it’s my sweet tooth. 

Every single day, without failure, I crave a dessert: specifically ice cream or frozen yogurt. Sixteen Handles in town has become my kryptonite, as I frequently find myself going spontaneously on weeknight’s just to satisfy my sugar crave. 

One night whilst on my phone and unwinding from the long day, I came across a social media post from one of my good friends who attends Sacred Heart University, which is one town over. It was a picture of her and her friends at an old-fashioned diner, sipping from huge milkshakes that were loaded with whipped cream and cherries. My eyes immediately widened and I quickly messaged her asking where she was; being so close, I thought that maybe my friends and I could go!

To my great surprise, she responded that it was JP’s Diner, which is actually located on their campus. I did some more digging on my own and learned that JP’s diner is a 50’s style restaurant for Sacred Heart students, offering breakfast, lunch and dinner, serving diner classics. From club sandwiches, burgers, milkshakes and cheesecake, they offer a wide variety of options for students with an even more fun atmosphere! 

The booths are bright red, there’s a bar counter for sitting if one were to just stop in for a coffee, and there’s actual print menus with waiters and waitresses to serve. It must feel as though students are travelling back in time! Even more exciting, the diner is open until 3:00 a.m. on weekends and dining dollars are accepted.

But enough about Sacred Heart University! I want to focus on Fairfield. 

It would be a wonderful thing to have something similar to this on our campus! I say this not as a complaint or dissatisfaction for what the school already offers, and I don’t necessarily find it practical to create something like this anytime in the near future, but I think there’s leeway to bring a similar experience to our campus. 

The Stag, our diner of sorts, located in the Barone Campus Center has incredible food in my opinion, as well as booths and tables. The fried chicken sandwiches and french fries are mouthwatering and the Stag is always bustling with activity. I don’t think anything here should change; this place serves more as an in-between classes kind of venture to catch up with friends. The Levee, however, I think may benefit from a little expansion, creating more of an actual sit-down cozy diner atmosphere for students. 

The Levee is another great place to grab food and was actually just redone for this year with completely new owners taking over! The food here is my favorite; the pizza is always delicious and the penne and meatballs are my personal go-to meal. All my friends enjoy the food too and there are great big portions to fill you up!

I have heard several students say however that they miss the booth seatings offered and the bar, which was replaced with another good alternative of deli casings and snacks. I think there is potential here to make this even more appealing to students! 

Over time, imagine bringing booths back to The Levee, maybe even putting an old-fashioned jukebox for students to choose different classics to play! Walls could be painted fun bright colors, and printed menus could be passed out to students. Just adding one waitress or waiter, which may be a cool work-study job, would change the whole atmosphere to more of an actual sit-down restaurant. Of course with the sweet tooth I have, I am also going to bring the idea forth of having old-fashioned milkshakes to replace the ice cream sandwiches and treats currently being offered. 

I think there’s great potential for the Levee overtime to make these adjustments and really transform the atmosphere into a more fun environment for students. I mean, who doesn’t love a ‘50’s style diner? 

This would also serve as an alternative for going out to town on the weekends. If students felt as though it was a similar experience attending a sit-down restaurant in town, a lot more would prioritize going on the weekends, especially. It would be a great way of saving money and connecting with more Fairfield students! 

Maybe I’m just saying all of this because I want milkshakes on campus, but I don’t know – I think there’s real potential here. It would take a lot of work and may not be practical for right now since the ownership just switched over, but I think it’d be a great goal to reach over time

Let’s bring that fun energy and atmosphere to the Levee! Because again, who doesn’t love a good milkshake?


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