The Dunkin’ Donuts in the ground floor of the Terrapin Row apartment complex is expected to open by the first week of April.
Restaurants Wings Over, SeoulSpice, Cheers Cut, Poki District and Gong Cha have also signed leases for the ground floor of the apartment complex.
Usman Chaudhry, the franchisee for this Dunkin’ Donuts, said the location will open on the Knox Road side of Building B before the semester ends, ideally around St. Patrick’s Day. But that could be delayed if there are unexpected issues with construction or acquiring permits, he added.
“College is a pretty crazy time for you guys,” Chaudhry said, “so if I can provide a space where you guys can relax, eat some good food and have your normal iced coffee and things like that then I’m happy to do so.”
Chaudhry said he wanted the coffee and baked goods chain to be within walking distance of students on the campus. He wants this location to be an alternative to libraries where customers can relax, work and study as well as buy food and drinks, with strong Wi-Fi, TVs and patio furniture.
The chain joins Starbucks and Board and Brew on Route 1 as nearby coffee options for College Park residents and University of Maryland students who live off the campus. Vigilante Coffee is also expected to open in the next few months.
Senior computer science major Akhil Reddy said he’s excited for Dunkin’ Donuts to open before he graduates.
“When I signed my lease here two years ago, they said they’d have all these stores. It’s been, like, two years,” Reddy said. “It sucks walking all the way to 7-Eleven just to get a drink.”
The coffee wasn’t the biggest draw to senior finance major Kyle Thompson, who said he wished it came to Terrapin Row sooner.
“We have free coffee here, so I don’t know if I’d go and get coffee there much, but if I wanted some donuts I’d definitely go there,” Thompson said.
Grace Annan, a first-year supply chain management graduate student, said she isn’t too fond of the chain but knows a lot of students who are. However, she said Dunkin’ Donuts was a good fit for the apartment complex.
“If you want actual food you could go down the Baltimore Avenue for some,” she said.
A lot of students who grew up on the East Coast ate at Dunkin’ Donuts, Chaudhry said. He’s hoping to bring back that option to students and introduce them to new food and drink offerings on the menu.
Senior electrical engineering major Cody Cashmark agreed that the Dunkin’ Donuts would be a success here. He said the coffeehouse — along with the other restaurants slated to open soon — give the apartment complex a lot of variety, but he wishes he’d get more than a month’s use out of them.
“I wish all the stuff had been in here prior,” Cashmark said.
College Park City-University Partnership senior program associate Valerie Woodall said the Dunkin’ Donuts opening is good for more than just students. City residents who live nearby will likely patronize the location, she said, especially as the city’s bikeshare program expands and makes it easier for residents to get around.
“If people are interested in getting Dunkin’ Donuts and not driving all the way up Route 1 to North College Park,” Woodall said, “they can do that.”