University of Maryland students who frequent the restaurant strip underneath the University View might have been surprised when they came back to school this semester and found that Pizza Autentica, a Washington-based pizza chain, had closed and left an empty storefront.
The store had been open since 2011, according to a March 2011 Diamondback article.
Though Ryan Chelton, the city of College Park’s economic development coordinator, did not elaborate on specific options that the space’s owner is considering to fill the space, he said he anticipates the owner “would be open to a lot of different things,” and speculated that a restaurant could open at the location.
Cushman & Wakefield, a commercial real estate company that leases spaces, has its name listed on the storefront’s windows.
Emily Alexander, a sophomore communication major, said she isn’t upset that Pizza Autentica disappeared from the space.
“I went there one time with my friends,” Alexander said. “And we got there, and there were, like, two slices of pizza left. So we just left.”
Some students are hopeful that a restaurant will open in its place. Jacob Linden, a senior computer science major, said he’d like a restaurant there that’s “just something affordable.”
“I feel like there’s a lot of expensive stuff … Everything in this area is getting really expensive,” Linden said.
Though Linden went to Pizza Autentica occasionally, it was too expensive for his tastes, he said. A slice of plain cheese pizza costs $3.49, according to Pizza Autentica’s website.
Linden noticed the location closed at the beginning of this semester, because he walks past that area of Route 1 on his way to class, he said.
Rachel Thal-Larsen, a sophomore neuroscience major who lives in the View, said she is holding out hope for a breakfast place.
“A Panera would be awesome,” Thal-Larsen said.