Here’s what restaurants are opening and closing on Temple’s campus

Crisp Kitchen is gone, to be replaced by Old Nelson’s, a grocer that sells beer and wine.

Crisp Kitchen, below the View at Montgomery on Montgomery Avenue near 12th Street, closed on Oct. 11. Old Nelson Food Company, a grocery store that sells beer and wine, is slated to take its place. | JEREMY ELVAS / THE TEMPLE NEWS

A grocer that sells wine, a breakfast cafe, and a Panera Bread: Here are several restaurants that opened or are expected to open near Main Campus.

Old Nelson Food Company

Crisp Kitchen, a salad and stir fry restaurant below The View at Montgomery on Montgomery Avenue near 12th Street, closed on Oct. 11. It will be replaced by Old Nelson Food Company, a grocery-eatery that sells beer and wine, according to a posting outside the property.

Crisp Kitchen, which opened its Temple location in 2016, announced the closure on its Facebook page. It will continue to operate at its Center City location and may expand to smaller locations, Joe Betzala, the restaurant’s operations director, told The Temple News.

Betzala and his colleagues decided to close their Temple location due to being unable to compete with the dozens of other vendors on campus, he said.

“We’ve been watching the sales, and I think we came to realize that there’s just so much competition,” Betzala said.

“It just got difficult to keep the sales where they need to be with a brick-and-mortar place,” he added.

Betzala said he had mixed emotions about closing the Temple location.

“From a personal standpoint where you pour your heart and soul into something and then have to lock the doors and walk away, it’s bittersweet,” he said. “But at the end of the day, it’s business.”

Old Nelson will have 30 seats, according to a permit filed with Philadelphia Department of Licenses and Inspections, the minimum seats required to be able to sell beer and wine under Pennsylvania law. 

A representative from Old Nelson could not be reached for comment.

Emma Borgstrom, a sophomore kinesiology major, said she ate at Crisp Kitchen because it was quick and had vegan options.

Borgstrom, who lives in The View, said she is excited to have a grocer so close to her apartment.

“You know, Fresh Grocer is right there, but I mean it’s pretty pricey for students, and you still have to do the walk and carry all your groceries,” Borgstrom said. 

Columbia Diner

Alex Do, a 2009 finance alumnus, opened Columbia Diner, a casual brunch cafe on Cecil B. Moore Avenue near 17th Street on Oct. 22.

The diner, which offers meals like omelets and sandwiches for less than $6, also serves different kinds of fish and chicken wings with waffles special, according to their menu.

Do, who has worked in the food business for 15 years, said he hopes that he can capitalize on a market for breakfast in the area.

“There’s people who always eat breakfast,” Do said.

Lorraine Thompson, who lives on Poplar Street near 17th, ordered breakfast on the restaurant’s first day.

“This is more reasonable,” she said. “We needed this affordable one.”

Panera Bread

A Panera Bread may be built on the first floor of Vantage on 12th Street near Cecil B. Moore Avenue, according to blueprints published by the Goldenberg Group, the building’s developer.

The 3,800-square-foot store would sit between CVS and another property, whose owner has yet to be determined, according to the blueprints.

Because the deal with Panera has not been finalized, the Goldenberg Group can not comment on when the location would open, said Kevin Trapper, the group’s senior vice president of development. 

Djoume Traore, a sophomore finance major, said Panera is a nice place to get work done and has good mac-and-cheese.

“It’s good, absolutely,” Traore added.

Madison Bockol, a sophomore gender, sexuality and women’s studies major, said Panera’s food tastes frozen.

“It was incredibly bland,” she said.

CORRECTION: A previous version of this story misspelled “that” in the cutline.

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