A new semester means new friends, new classes, and, sadly, a reminder of the harsh reality of capitalism. Some businesses, no matter how close they may be to our hearts, must fail. Our winter break has given us three changes to the Thayer street food scene, all of which will have to prove their worth to Brown students in the near future:
almost no one’s many students’ complete lack of surprise, Toledo (or its brief successor Thayer Pita Pockets) has closed its doors. Though I only once got to enjoy one of their infamous “pizza cones” – albeit in their brief second life as “pita pockets” – Thayer street will surely miss this unique delicacy and I will miss the classic challenge of preventing cheese from oozing out the bottom of the cone. Indeed, it’s tough being the 3rd pizza restaurant in a 2-pizzeria market. Expect (only slightly) longer lines at Antonio’s and Nice Slice.
In another, perhaps more jarring departure, Phonatic has closed its doors above the Ale House after over four years. Indeed, good Vietnamese food is pretty scarce in Providence, so there are some who will miss this restaurant. A sign is up under one of the papered-over windows promising the eventual arrival of Coco Pazzo, a pizza/tapas bar/restaurant (pizza/tapas is well on its way to becoming the Mediterranean equivalent of Tex-Mex). Maybe the slightly more upscale pizza option, along with some Spanish small plates, will help Coco Pazzo succeed where Toledo failed.
Perhaps the biggest change on Thayer for the 21+ crowd is the arrival of Irish pub Hercules Mulligan’s. It’s unclear exactly who Hercules Mulligan was, but we imagine he looked something like this, but with a toga, instead of Paul Revere.
This new bar right above Soban – the former home of Marley’s – has Heineken, Narragansett, Coors Light, and more on tap. Hercules Mulligan’s also promises to deliver a good meal with a menu highlighted by the “Mulligan burger” and “Jameson honey BBQ wings.” Tasteful wood furnishings (according to these grainy photos) and just the right amount of Guinness signs adorn the pub, which seems to prove there’s always room for one more bar on Thayer street.
Moral of the story: we broke even on pizza, 1+ on alcohol and iconic namesakes.