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MIT, Anna’s Taqueria Finalizing Contract

By Michael Snella

The Office of Campus Dining is finalizing plans to bring Anna’s Taqueria to the Student Center.

According to Richard D. Berlin III, Director of Campus Dining, the contract has yet to be finalized, but “all the business terms have been worked out.”

“We expect to complete our agreement with Anna’s shortly and for renovations and construction to begin in a few weeks,“ Berlin said.

Anna’s, specializing in Mexican cuisine, will be located on the first floor of the Student Center, replacing the recently closed Arrow’s Street Crepes.

The restaurant must acquire a Common Victuallers license from the city of Cambridge before opening on campus.

“We can’t do anything without [Cambridge’s] blessing,” said Anna’s owner Mike Kamio.

Renovations, changes anticipated

“Architects are already looking at the space in anticipation of our completing a contract,” said Berlin in an e-mail.

“Given [the location] is around a concrete pillar, it’s tougher to work with,” said Kamio.

The restaurant will be similar to his recently renovated Harvard St. location, said Kamio.

The main focus of the architectural readjustment is seating. “There will be more tables and chairs for groups larger than two,” said Kamio.

“It’s nicer to have a table and sit across from a person, it’s more intimate,” said Berlin.

Campus Dining is also changing food options in the Student Center food court in anticipation of Anna’s arrival, Berlin said. “We used to serve Mexican food in the food court. We replaced it with Asian noodles to provide more diversity.”

Campus Dining will be “expanding the Chinese food concept further,” said Berlin. The expansion, if successful, will occur after winter break, he said.

Anna’s popular choice of students

Anna’s was the overwhelming choice in an online student survey conducted to replace Arrow St. Crepes in mid-April. Berlin said the survey was the sole method of selection.

Of the 750 students taking part in the survey, Anna’s was the “overwhelming favorite. More than half of the responses had it either as a first or second choice,” said Berlin.

“Anna’s will bring a lot of energy to the Student Center. It is a popular product, price-point wise.”

Students are looking forward to having Anna’s in the Student Center. “They are incredibly efficient, you can get exactly what you want for cheap,” said Tony J. Ferreira ’05. “It’s ideal college food,”

“It would certainly add some variety to the campus dining options,” said Dheera Venkatraman ’06.

“It’s the fastest food I’ve ever had,” said Zack W. Reynolds ’07, one of several students to comment on the franchise’s speed of service.