Limited Choices: The Promenade’s Last Two Light Eateries

Abby Ward, Contributor

In late December, Crepe Soleil and Cosi, two of the Promenade Shops’ fast and casual eateries closed, further shrinking the list of relatively inexpensive eating options to the Healthy You Cafe in the Capital Blue suite and the newly opened Playa Bowls. While the creperie relocated to The Crossings in the Poconos roughly 45 minutes away, the sandwich shop shut its doors for good with little to no warning to the public. Their closest location is currently in Elkins Park, just north of Philadelphia. 

“They had really good tomato basil soup,” said one student on the closing of Cosi. “But they were way overpriced.”

The Lion’s Den is clearly the only option on campus to grab a substantial meal. However, the cost of many of the substantial lunches available hover around $8, which, over the course of a single week, totals to $45. Many students are also disappointed with the quality of food they receive for the money at the Lion’s Den. 

“The ladies that work down there are really nice,” a student commented. “But the food is lacking.”

At Crepe Soleil, customers could watch fresh food be prepared right in front of them, part of the location’s charm. Between previously-frozen and a freshly-prepared meal, it was not difficult to make the decision to drive across Center Valley Parkway to the Promenade. 

“They need to have a nice lunch place,” said one student. “Lights, seating, a nice environment,” she elaborated. “But I’m not that picky, just some place inexpensive and quick.” 

“Panera, Chipotle… That could work there,” said another student. “Make it worth the money, if it’s going to be a little more pricey,”

As an affordable restaurant with a variety of lunch options seems to be the consensus of students, some kind of lunch cafe could be the ticket to the next successful business in the Promenade. Light soups, salads, sandwiches, and wraps, as well as coffee, tea, and other fountain beverages, set in an internet-friendly environment with plenty of places to charge up would be the best place for students at Penn State Lehigh Valley and neighboring colleges to hang out and work as they dine.