Appetizing alternatives duke it out for Price Center space

    Few things rival the pleasure of indulging in a smooth, creamy, rich and sweet scoop of ice cream. Slowly allowing a lick of fudge marble to penetrate the senses after a tough midterm is a temporary escape into a trouble-free world. Now the A.S. Council has recognized the potential for a venture that will provide daily taste bud satisfaction, having announced that an ice cream parlor is being considered as an addition to the Price Center as part of the game room renovation.

    With the current dining options available at the Price Center, an ice cream parlor would be a refreshing addition that would also accommodate different tastes. Unlike most of the rest of the eateries in the Price Center, an ice cream parlor would be a good place to grab something in between classes and would cater to impulse appetites (which would be a good way to make a quicker buck). And with the current surfing and tanning weather in the middle of winter, an ice cream place would be ideal for heat-exhausted and smoothie-weary students.

    Such a parlor would also provide a more diverse and socially active atmosphere in the Price Center. Students could socialize with friends over ice cream, but finish fast enough as to not exacerbate crowding problems at Price Center Plaza.

    In terms of choosing a brand to occupy the allocated space, the A.S. Council should pick something well-known. The leading contender is Freshens, which operates a station in John Muir College’s Sierra Summit. This choice is understandable, but flawed. Picking Freshens could be a good choice because of its proven reliability at Sierra Summit. Because Freshens does not charge brand-related fees, the A.S. Council would have a safer assurance that its investment would be returned in a timely fashion.

    However, the current Freshens establishment on campus in a dining hall may turn off some potential customers because they could just as easily mosey on over to Muir and get it there.

    Well-known restaurants already occupy the Price Center, and the recent choice of Panda Express shows that students associate quality with name. For this reason, it would be wise for the council to select a food outlet with name recognition, as opposed to Freshens or the Food Co-op. Moo Time and Cold Stone creameries seem to be good choices because of their innovative new techniques and a wide selection of flavors. However, with both stores already across La Jolla Village Drive, students — and particularly off-campus ones — may not be as enthusiastic for something they can already easily access near UCSD. The prestige of a name such as Haeagen-Dazs or Ben and Jerry’s would speak both to the quality and convenience of a Price Center location.

    While a food co-op would please many students, the fact that the Sunshine Store exists in the Price Center somewhat discounts its value. Students can already get ready-made items and other stop-and-shop foods there. And while at first glance, an ice cream shop may seem impractical and unneeded, its novelty status is precisely why it should be implimented over the food co-op. Students who want more substantial food have choices at the food court already, but have few options if all they want is a quick pick-me-up. And a food co-op will do less to add to the atmosphere of the Price Center, while an ice cream parlor is a fun choice for students.

    When it comes down to it, the winners in this delicious choice would be students. Sitting on Library Walk in the warm January sunshine, watching the students pass by and hearing the calm trickling of the Price Center fountain is already a blissful experience. Add a spoonful of mocha almond chip and it all borders on transcendent.

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