A black-and-white photo of Hogg Hall with a sign for The College Inn outsideBy Dave Block ’93

The last several years have seen the end of an era on College Hill as three landmark Italian restaurants—Morici’s, Campus Pizza, and Pizza D’Oro (replaced in April by Joey D’s Pizza)—have closed. The state of local dining options has long been a concern of the campus community. A headline in the July 8, 1948 edition of The Lafayette states, “Easton Offers Many Good Eating Places.”

The writer reported having great difficulty in securing meals when he started at Lafayette, but declared that the situation had improved with eating clubs at three fraternities and other options, including College Hill Tavern, which has remained a favorite in the more than seven decades since. He also references the College Inn, which operated out of Hogg Hall.

“Of course I am glad to see that Sam is still smiling in the College Inn as 50 men watch the television set and a few buy sandwiches…Just off the campus on March Street, Anne’s has made improvements on a once dingy spot to make it one of the cleaner and better restaurants on the hill. Just across the street, the Campus Arms swings briskly through each day doing a rushing business on hamburgers. Over on Cattell Street, Chappies is a good bet. It is one of the newer spots on the hill and we recommend it. Other restaurants on Cattell Street are: The College Hill Tavern, The Straw ‘n Spoon, and Price’s. Last but not least, Eric Sholer is operating his eating club on High Street and he welcomes all newcomers.”

Elaine Stomber ’88, College archivist, says, “I remember speaking once with Sid Frank ’49, who told me how ‘terrible’ the food was at the College Inn. This was the primary reason he joined a fraternity—so he could eat in the fraternity house dining room.”

She also shares this from Frederick Wilhelms Jr. ’44: “The College provided no eating facility other than the College Inn, which was an absolute disgrace. During my undergraduate years, the only edible food on the campus was served in the fraternities.”

A College booklet published one month earlier than the Lafayette article, A Manual for Freshmen, notes that “there are at least half a dozen more places to eat within three blocks of the campus both in restaurants and private homes with dining rooms. You can figure on spending at least thirty cents for breakfasts, and from sixty cents to a dollar for lunches and dinners, respectively. These prices are based on the requirements for a well-rounded diet, and occasional skimping may reduce the cost per week.”

The Lafayette article also gives recommendations for those traveling down the hill, including “Jimmie’s hot dogs at the P’Burg bridge,” dubbed “the best ever.” Today, Jimmy’s Doggie Stand continues that tradition at the Northampton Street bridge linking Easton and Phillipsburg.

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