Family owned and operated Arpeggio Grill closed the doors to its Guadalupe Street location on June 1 after opening in the summer of 2010. Struggling against the fierce competition of other restaurants on Guadalupe, Arpeggio Grill was no longer able to stay afloat.
Arpeggio Grill offered Mediterranean and Greek food, including menu items such as gyros, kabobs and pizza. Although the cheap lunch specials and convenient location were enticing for UT students, restaurants offering similar dishes were able to outsell Arpeggio Grill.
Fida Shah, joint owner of Arpeggio Grill, said he was sad to leave his location on the Drag, but is still operating at a second location on Airport Blvd. He said the rent on the Drag was twice as much as he is paying on Airport.
“The Guadalupe location is a different ball game than the Airport location,” Shah said. “Students couldn’t afford our prices that were necessary with our quality of food.”
Emmy Laursen, visual arts studies sophomore, said she is a regular when it comes to choosing a place to eat on the Drag. She said although the gyros were cheap and filling, other restaurants on the Drag better fit her palette.
“I like the gyros from Arpeggio Grill, but I would much rather grab a sandwich from Which Wich for the same price,” Laursen said.
Arpeggio Grill offered zabiha halal meat, which is meat slaughtered in accordance with Islamic law.
Christy Latz, a shift leader at Which Wich on the Drag, said attracting UT students is the main contributing factor that determines a business’ success.
“We are mostly competing for UT students,” Latz said. “Without UT students around during the summer, things are slow.”
Eihab Shah, a current employee at Arpeggio Grill, said he missed the campus atmosphere at the former location and said the new taco restaurant, Fuzzy’s Taco Shop, might better serve the UT students.
“Our most common menu item was the gyro,” Shah said. “Tacos are cheaper to make, so maybe this new restaurant will have a better chance of survival.”