A few months ago, Augie’s Pizzeria did the unthinkable: it closed down. For years, Augie’s brought joy to the lives of SU students, stumbling back from their favorite waterholes and in desperate need of sustenance. And at one dollar per slice, the drunkards were loath to resist the siren call of steaming mozzarella, sweet marinara sauce, and, for a little extra, a side of ranch.
Then, the economy went into the toilet like the vomit of the starving drunks that were in dire need of nourishment. With the decline in the economy came a rise in prices. Students who had once paid one dollar for a cheesy savior were forced to answer a very serious question: was it worth another twenty-five cents to soak up the liquor that was surely eating away at their livers?
Apparently, the answer to that age-old question was: No. Because shortly after the prices increased, Augie’s was forced to close, citing a decline in profits as the cause of their departure from the M Street scene.
For many students, the news was slow to arrive, but all the more devastating when it did. On any given night, howls, shrieks, and other utterances of despair resound in the streets, forming in the stomachs of the inebriated and echoing throughout the SU campus like the cries of some kind of caged animal. A caged animal who desperately needs pizza.
“I just don’t understand,” exclaims Devin Jones, standing outside the abandoned pizza sanctuary, with an incredulous look in his eyes. “What am I supposed to do now?” Jones frequented Augie’s “every time [he] went out,” and he and his friends have still not adjusted to the change. “It’s like we have phantom restaurant syndrome or something,” says Jones. “We still come out of Chuck’s and head to Augie’s. Once we get there and realize that it’s gone, we just scream in horror. It’s like we learn it for the first time every night.”
Jones is not alone in his nightly act of alcohol-induced amnesia. Almost 70% of people exiting a bar treks over to Augie’s only to rediscover what they had learned the night before and the night before that: Augie’s is no more. And then, the screams begin.
Now that Augie’s is gone, what will serve as the new oasis of hangover-curing cuisine? Can Acropolis or Jimmy John’s answer the call for a new haven for the cravin’? “I just don’t think so,” answers Kim Chang. “Without Augie’s, it’s like”¦it’s like it’s not even worth it to go out. What’s the point of getting drunk if I can’t follow it up with an inordinate amount of pizza and ranch dressing?”
It seems for now that Marshall Street will be resigned to life without Augie’s. While the structure still remains, some day there will be nothing to remind the SU community that there was once a god among restaurants on M Street. Even now, there is little to remind people that Augie’s was ever there.
Except for the screams.