Opening a restaurant in the middle of a global pandemic is crazy, and critics would say it’s impossible. Sitting inside of 2 Stay 2 Go during the soft opening just proves otherwise. Food is about bringing people together — something that’s been lacking in this technological, socially-distanced age. Most of us are spending all day in our apartments or dorms, staring at screens and lamenting the good old days when we used to be face-to-face and not mask-to-mask. The opening of a new Collegetown restaurant is exactly what students needed to pull them out of their hovels.
Daniel Jones ’22, a student in the Cornell School of Hotel Administration, came up with the idea to open a pop-up restaurant in Collegetown from Oct. 8 until Nov. 8, two weeks before I joined them for a full run-through of their menu. Jones was determined to keep the restaurant 100 percent student-run and operated, and not even a week later, he recruited his team from across the graduating classes at Cornell. Noah Horns ’22 and Bobby Dandliker ’22 are his co-executive chefs, Samay Bansal ’21) is acting as his president, Sabrina Sam ’22 is his pastry chef and Luke Verzella ’23 and Elin Atonsson ’23 are his marketing directors.
A pop-up restaurant, as my friend so eloquently described, “is like one of those Halloween shops that is only open for a few weeks in October and takes pride in being quirky and non-committal.” The main idea is that they are only open for a limited time and offer a novel and exciting experience you can’t find anywhere else.