After 26 years serving burgers and lunch plates to UL students, faculty and staff, Campus Copies will say goodbye and shut its doors permanently Thursday when its lease expires.
“I don’t think the landlord [Cynthia Gani] really wanted to sell the business,” says Campus Copies co-owner Mitch Duhon, addressing talk that the East St. Mary Street business was essentially kicked out. “She made the comment about six months ago, when she went up on rent, that if Campus Copies wasn’t there, UL would have rented her building. She felt that she could have gotten more from the university.”
|A voodoo doll left at the Campus Copies location seeks to put the gris gris on landlord Cynthia Gani, who increased the local business' rent, essentially kicking it out, in an effort to get a better deal with the university.|
Duhon says because the business was only physically open six months out of the year, with Fridays being half days, the rent’s constant increase became too much for the small business. “I would like to stay involved with the students of UL because they are some of the best, well-mannered kids I’ve ever seen,” says Duhon. “I’m just so grateful. I mean, I’ve seen two generations of kids grow up.”
Since the news broke out, Campus Copies’ Facebook has been flooded with personal stories about the business, as well as an accumulation of ideas by the public for future locations.
Many of the people suggest the business move to a location downtown, but Duhon says he doesn’t think it is “feasible” to open another location.
The comments on Facebook indicate that the memories of Campus Copies won't fade soon. Writes Cody Thomas, “Thanks for all the great food and memories! Especially the memory of when I ran into this girl, who is now my wife. We got a burger today, matter of fact!”
Vacating the property not only means the end of Campus Copies, but it also includes its neighbor, Orange Leaf, a frozen yogurt shop that opened during the spring of 2012. Orange Leaf was subleasing through Duhon, so its lease was up when Duhon decided to close his business.
“I was really surprised to hear that Campus Copies is closing,” says Lindy Muse, a senior biology major. “It has been open for so long and has always served excellent food, as well as being a friendly place to hang out. I hate to see it go.”
“I’m pretty disappointed, too,” says Logan McGahhey, a senior in moving image arts. “In my opinion, it’s the best place to eat on campus. The rumor going around is that the university is planning to buy [it], so it ought to be interesting to see what they end up doing with the building.”
Kathleen Thames, associate director of UL’s Office of Communications and Marketing, says speculation of a pending deal with UL is inaccurate.
“The university is not working on any transactions related to the Campus Copies property at the moment,” she says.