It’s 1 a.m. You’ve just finished a p-set and you’re starving. What do you do? Most students hit up LaVerde’s or Chicago Pizza, but now East Campus residents have another choice for cheap, late-night snacking thanks to Vincent P. Le ’13, also known as Pinkie. Le and a small group of volunteers have recently started Pinkie’s Diner, open Sunday through Thursday from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. in the Talbot lounge in EC.
Pinkie’s has been open for about two weeks and serves snack foods such as grilled cheese, burgers, brownies, and omelets, which are prepared in the kitchen in the Talbot lounge.
Pinkie’s doesn’t have a food sales license, so all of the food is technically free, but there are “recommended donations” for each item on the menu. The recommended donation for a brownie is 25 cents, and $1.50 for a burger. According to Le, Pinkie’s is also not intended to be profitable; the money made goes towards buying more food and supplies. “Any extra money we have we can use for buying nicer things for the menu,” he said.
The purpose of Pinkie’s is to bring the residents of EC together and make use of the Talbot lounge, which was formerly empty at night, said Le. East Campus residents have given Le positive feedback about his late-night diner. “People really like being able to come down and hang out with their friends. It’s nice seeing people from different halls in EC all together,” said Le.
“It’s a good place for people to congregate when they’re all working on p-sets at two in the morning,” added one of his diners.
West Campus residents will have to wait to sample Pinkie’s fare. Le said students from other dorms will not be turned away, but currently the diner is mainly intended for East Campus residents “because we want to get things stabilized first” and that the amount of volunteers “can’t handle large inputs from other dorms at the moment.” He estimates the diner serves between 20 and 50 students every night. Le also added that, as Pinkie’s grows, “hopefully other dorms will want to come here in the future.”
Le said there are usually three volunteers working each night, although he has had to run Pinkie’s by himself. “The hardest thing is getting people to volunteer and help out. … We’d like to be down here two or three times a week but not every night,” he said of himself and the current volunteers.
The diner gets its name from Le; his moniker, “Pinkie,” was inspired by the pink mohawk he sported last year. Le enjoys baking bread, and the grilled cheese served at Pinkie’s is made with homemade loaves.
Le would like to see Pinkie’s become a “permanent fixture” in East Campus, and he plans to keep it running as long as he has volunteers and enough money from donations to buy food. “We’re bringing people together and we’re providing a nice thing for EC,” said Le. Perhaps the success of Pinkie’s will inspire other student-run food groups around campus.