Denny's to Come to College Park
The former Varsity Grille building has a new tenant—the 24-hour breakfast specialty franchise.
The former Varsity Grille building, known for its trivia and live music nights, will soon be the place to find breakfast at any hour of the day.
Denny’s recently signed a lease to renovate and occupy 8424 Baltimore Ave., next to Taco Bell, said Michael Stiefvater, the city’s economic development coordinator. The franchise restaurant is expected to open by the end of this year or the start of 2013, he said.
The building sat vacant since the Varsity Grille closed in January 2010, when the property came under contract by a developer who intended to construct high-rise student housing, said Jim McGinnis of Restaurant Brokers and Developers, Inc.
But while new off-campus student housing, like the Varsity, shot up along U.S. Route 1, the one-story burnt orange and blue building remained.
“The landlord came back to us and said, ‘Look, the deal fell apart,’” McGinnis said, and the search for a new tenant to fill the empty space began.
With all the other student high rises nearby, McGinnis thinks the location is prime real estate for the 24-hour restaurant.
“Students nowadays are kind of nocturnal,” he said.
University of Maryland senior Sam Egly said that she loves Denny's, because it's cheap and open 24 hours.
But Denny's joins other breakfast specialty restaurants in College Park that offer extended hours. IHOP and Plato's Diner are both open 24 hours on Fridays and Saturdays, and College Park Diner is open all day every day.
Egly thinks Denny's is different enough from the diners that they won’t directly compete, and—"the IHOP is way too far away," said Egly, who lives in the nearby View apartment complex.