Austin’s Pizza, a University of Texas Italian dive and grungy hang-out spot on Guadalupe Street, has decided to reinvent the idea of a study destination. The dark wood and dim-lit stop for pizza lovers is now open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, serving the Austin community with hot pies fresh from the oven on demand.
Whether pulling an all-nighter for a big test, looking for a late night bite after the lights on the Drag blink out, or if you just have that craving that can’t be tamed, Austin’s Pizza is a new option for the hungry after dark.
“Austin is the largest city in America without a 24 hour pizza place,” Roggie Baer, Austin’s Pizza’s project manager and brainchild behind this new venture, said. “UT’s students and staff are already our biggest clients, so we really want to serve that community better.”
Austin’s Pizza will be the first establishment of this kind in Austin and could be a game-changer for the sometimes drab options on Guadalupe. But besides giving the state’s capitol city a needed stop for night owls, Austin’s Pizza understands the needs of the UT community and the day-to-day trials of the Texas student population.
“It seems as if a lot of people’s schedules demand late night, whether it be place to study or a place to eat. We wanted our place to be really accessible and really familiar,” Baer said.
Austin’s Pizza is keeping their new adjustments relatively quiet until their grand unveiling on an unspecified night sometime in March in order to test the waters and grab a new fan base of regulars. Besides the extension of hours, Austin’s Pizza is introducing menu changes and a completely revamped “Drag Bar” on the second level.
The Drag Bar renovations include new bathrooms, a new stage, innovative drinks and creative decor. They are also including a library stocked with classic books and various old-school board games to add to their funky atmosphere.
Local roaster Progress Coffee has created a signature blend just for Austin’s Pizza that will be served round the clock for students in need of a caffeine boost. They also now offer breakfast pizzas in the morning that can be personalized with many classic combinations, including scrambled eggs, assorted cheeses and, of course, bacon.
Director of Social Media Del Cooney has planned several events to stimulate popularity and traffic at Austin’s Pizza, especially in the evening.
“We are planning an overnight party, like a movie and pajama night, and we’ve talked to several groups on campus about doing an eight-hour Dungeons and Dragons night,” Cooney said, “What’s so great about Austin’s Pizza is that it is such a big and eclectic space; we can offer events that would be impossible to accomplish at any other 24-hour establishment.”
UT’s libraries are often overcrowded and noisy, especially during finals week. Baer is determined to transform Austin’s Pizza into a comfortable and effective study location for students who are stressed. Baer is attempting to recruit a UT librarian to sit in the restaurant during finals and answer questions for those studying at Austin’s Pizza. Donna Quinlan and Caroline Bennett, two University of Texas freshmen and frequenters of Austin’s Pizza, were intrigued to learn about this new option for the student population.
“I think it will definitely be beneficial, especially on weekends,” Bennett said. “It’ll be a hot spot on Saturday evenings, for sure.”
Not everyone, however, believes that this environment is suitable for effective studying.
“Personally, I’m the type that needs a cubicle and quiet to study, but to each his own. I can imagine pizza and studying is a much happier combination than what we are used to,” Quinlan said.
Austin’s Pizza is attempting to redefine what location is best for productive studying. For some, beige walls and fluorescent lighting is needed for good grades, but Austin’s Pizza believes indie music, smokey air and marinara sauce could do the trick.
Published on February 4, 2013 as "Expanded hours attracts scholars".