By Jessica Nocera
College Park has earned the bad joke of having too many pizza places. But after this upcoming September, one less pizza place will be calling CP its home. Ratsie’s, the local pizza joint that has been serving students and many others for over the past 30 years, announced its closing this past November.
As stated in several articles, owner Mike Falamoun is closing because after operating Ratsie’s for approximately 15 years, he is ready to retire.
“I just think it’s sad that a local chain, one of CP’s most established places to eat, has to close because of the competition around it,” said Joe Kogan, sophomore finance major, speculating about reasons for the shut-down.
When news first broke that this would be the final school year of Ratsie’s, many students reacted the same way as Kogan. Since Ratsie’s is one of the last original restaurants in College Park because of all the big name chains that keep moving in, it can be sad to see history and traditions end. With all the other pizza places and their attractions, whether it is the craze of jumbo slices or the trendy Blaze Pizza, Ratsie’s has stepped out of the spotlight.
“It’s a classic, not necessarily the best pizza, but its kind of what I always thought of when I thought of College Park,” said Kogan.
Even so, that doesn’t mean students and College Park residents alike won’t forget their memories made in Ratsie’s.
For Kogan, the things he will miss most are, “seeing old man Ratsie [the owner] and all the people,” that find their way into Ratsie’s late at night.
However, Ratsie’s corner location will not be vacant for long, as Nando’s Peri-Peri, a Portuguese-style rotisserie chicken restaurant, is taking over.
“Nando’s is really good first of all, and it’s definitely better for you than Ratsie’s. There’s one where I live at home and its really nice and it has a good atmosphere. If the one here ends up like that it would be good,” said Sophie Ellis, sophomore criminology and criminal justice major.
Nando’s first opened in 2008 in the Chinatown area of DC and has since opened around 20 more establishments. Nando’s will bring a nice change of ethnic food for students, something that College Park certainly lacks.
“Nando’s is definitely more of a place where you can go to at any time, for an actual meal not just a late night pizza crave. We have so pizza places around here anyways,” said Ellis.
Kogan, even though a loyal Ratsie’s customer, agrees with Ellis, “
It will be a nice switch-up, could be worse, and could have been another pizza place, so I’m not disappointed.”
Ratsie’s was known for staying open until 1:30 a.m, almost every night, but it has not been confirmed yet if Nando’s will have such late hours, as well. If not, Nando’s will be a nice, sit-down place for students, CP residents and visitors to enjoy when they can’t decide on what pizza place they want.