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Arrow St. to Open in October, One Month Behind Schedule

By Jenny Zhang

Arrow St. CrÊpes, which occupies the former space of Toscanini’s Ice Cream in the Student Center, is slated to open between Oct. 2 and 4, owner James Murray said. The restaurant’s opening, originally scheduled to be at the beginning of this term, has been delayed because of construction slowdowns.

Arrow St. will serve crepes, coffee, and some flavors of Toscanini’s ice cream. For the first few days, a “soft opening” which involves complimentary ice cream and other foods will take place. Only lunch will be served. Later, Arrow St. will move on to its full schedule of 17 hours a day, six days a week, with half-days on the seventh.

Opening is later than expected

Several factors prevented the store’s opening this month.

Murray said he thought the delay was due to the building’s low priority for Turner Construction, the company in charge of construction on the MIT campus. “Construction began on July 12. However, we are the smallest project [on campus] at a quarter-million, and we got pushed to the bottom of a list that included much larger constructions. The same construction company does all this different work, and they are busy,” Murray said.

However, members of the construction team disagree. They argue the management bureaucracy has held up work.

“We were finished with the basic construction 2 1/2 weeks ago,” said construction leader George Wetherell.

“There’s a lot of people involved in this, and they keep changing their minds,” he said. “That gets in the way of our progress. The other day, inspection didn’t show up when they said they would.”

“Currently, we are in the process of testing our fire protection equipment to make sure it is safe. The construction is complete,” Wetherell said.

Space remodeled over summer

Over the summer, Tosci’s was heavily remodeled in order to accommodate the creperie’s needs.

“We built on from the ground up. This used to just be an ice cream parlor; now it’s much more than that,” Murray said.

A new floor, new lights, and new furniture were added. To satisfy the greater electrical and plumbing needs of the added facilities, holes were punched through the floor to the basement for extensive wiring, and new pipes were laid down.

The conversion of Tosci’s into Arrow St. also included much larger changes. The complete reconstruction involved the installation of a full kitchen, complete with electric stoves and ten crepe burners.

Murray said that despite the delays, he still expects good business. “We will be serving sweet and savory crepes, fresh pancakes, and the classic ham-and-cheese sandwich. Our coffee bar will have the best express. Students will love it,” he said.