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Thursday, May 23, 2024

University Avenue, what happened?

Ever since we left Spring 2016 behind, you just keep changing. Balls and Gator City closed. Leonardo’s By the Slice is closing down one location. And now, with an eviction notice served on 101 Cantina, we may have to say goodbye to another University Avenue staple.

Of course, since watching a wrecking ball take off the roof of our last office Sunday, we at the Alligator have a personal attachment to the changes happening on our old haunting grounds. And since we’ve survived our own upheaval, we’re here to offer support to our fellow students in this time of need.

Here’s what you need to remember: It’ll be OK.

We know, we know. Change is scary. It’s been hard coping with the loss of our favorite places to make questionable life choices, and possibly saying goodbye to bright blue fishbowls and #SundayFunday tequila shots on the hour seems like too much to bear.

But as a Student Body, we’ll get through this together.

The memories will live on. We’ll never forget all those bookstore charges on our credit cards that really meant $2 doubles for all of your friends at Balls instead of textbooks. Or all the blurry Snapchats you took with bartenders and beers on your 21st. Or eating way too many garlic rolls at Leo’s when you already ate a massive slice of cheese pizza.

And amid all this change, we cannot be afraid to give new places a chance.

Midtown Social seems to have promise, especially with a rooftop bar and flavored macaroni and cheese. The Standard is not only offering new apartments, but a Chick-fil-A and Bento Cafe as well. And more restaurants have already signed on to move into the complex’s building. Although we’re still not sure what’s taking over Leo’s, we’ll hold out hope that the university replaces it with something of quality.

We also can’t forget about the classics that are still sticking around: the best drunk pizza slices you can ask for at Pizza by the Slice, greasy goodness at Relish and even the drunken mayhem at Grog House (we can’t believe we just said that, but who can resist Beat the Clock?).

Chances are that in a couple years, when we’re visiting as insistent I-can-still-pass-for-a-student alumni, we may not recognize Midtown. But that’s part of what makes Gainesville a great college town — it’s constantly changing to reflect new generations of students that pass through every four years. Speaking from personal experience, we say it’s pretty great to be able to reminisce about the old but still have an opportunity to embrace the new. And that’s what we’ll continue to do, fishbowls or not, in Midtown.  

Just don’t take Chipotle Mexican Grill or Dunkin’ Donuts. That’s all we ask.

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