Papa John’s to open on Lincoln Highway

By Reggie Brown

The restaurant business in NIU is continuing its growth with a new addition.

A new Papa John’s is expected to open on Lincoln Highway by the middle of November. It will be located where the old Mr. Crum’s Bakery and Cafe used to be.

The addition of the new Papa John’s means NIU will have a Pizza Hut, Domino’s and Pizza Villa all within walking distance of the residence halls.

Owner and NIU alumnus Jason McCaherty is not bothered by the heavy competition he will face.

“I think we will do better than the competition,” McCaherty said. “We have a much better product and we pay more for ingredients so we are putting out a high-quality product.”

McCaherty plans to staff his Papa John’s with around 30 employees, who will need to be able to work flexible hours.

“We will be open until 1 a.m. on weekdays,” McCaherty said. “And Friday and Saturday we will be open until 3 a.m.”

Papa John’s will be opening up in an entirely new building than students are used to. The building has seen a complete renovation since Mr. Crum’s closed.

For the grand opening, McCaherty and Papa John’s will be having some opening-day activities. Nothing has been confirmed yet, but McCaherty said they will probably do some local activities.

Students have differing opinions on another pizza place coming to NIU.

“I think it’s great we’re getting a Papa John’s,” said Kelli Heath, a sophomore biological sciences major. “We need more variety on campus, and Papa John’s has very good pizza.”

Kristina Kafka, a sophomore elementary education major, said she would welcome the idea of a new pizza place on campus with one stipulation.

“I think getting another pizza place is great, as long as it stays open longer than the others,” she said. “I think that will help them see more business.”

Some students have already grown tired of the pizza available to them and are anxiously awaiting the grand-opening.

“Papa John’s is better than what we have on campus now,” said Gabrielle Berrini, a freshman clinical laboratory science major. “And their pizza tastes better.”

“Not everybody likes Domino’s and Pizza Hut,” sophomore nursing major Ashley Hawkins said. “People like variety because pizza doesn’t taste the same everywhere you eat.”