Subway plans ascent to Hilltop

| Senior News Editor
When Hilltop Bakery (right) closes in the fall, Subway (left) may move to the space in Mallinckrodt Center currently occupied by the eatery. (Matt Mitgang | Student Life)

If Hilltop Bakery (right) closes in the fall, Subway (left) may move to the space in Mallinckrodt Center currently occupied by the eatery. (Matt Mitgang | Student Life)

If all goes as planned, $5 footlongs are set to hit Mallinckrodt Center next fall. Loren Grossman, owner of the Subway restaurant on campus, is currently in discussions with Washington University to take over the space that would be vacated by Hilltop Bakery.

“We haven’t decided [the move of Subway to Hilltop] yet,” Associate Vice Chancellor for Operations Steve Hoffner said. “We are in discussions with Subway to see about them possibly moving upstairs.”

Subway has occupied its current space in the Rathskellar (the Rat), in the basement of Umrath Hall, since 2003. Subway first opened in Mallinckrodt Center’s food court in 1995.

Grossman said the current space has proven to be too small for the volume of customers that Subway gets, leading him to desire a new location.

“We’ve outgrown this space, and the space is kind of inadequate to what we need and that space has become available,” Grossman said.

Hoffner echoed Grossman’s sentiments. Mallinckrodt Center would “[give] them more space and better space and a more prominent location,” he said.

Grossman highlighted long lines as an issue, for they turn prospective customers away.

“When the University made the possibility of that space [in Mallinckrodt] available to me, I was very happy because I never like to see a line…sometimes I’ll come here and I’ll see people looking down the stairway and walking away because they don’t want to stand in line,” Grossman said.

The new space would allow Subway to serve its customers with increased speed and efficiency. In addition, the quantity of seating would not decrease.

“I think it [the new location] would allow us to better serve our customers,” Grossman said. “We’re going to be able to put a double serving line in the new space. The seating probably will remain about the same. Of course, there’s a large terrace, which means that will be much additional seating outside.”

Hilltop Bakery, an eatery that is popular among the student body, offers custom-made wraps and salads. Grossman hopes to meet the needs of former Hilltop customers by promoting Subway’s salads and its wide variety of menu items.

According to Hoffner, Hilltop continues to be profitable and Dining Services will move as many Hilltop options as possible to the Danforth University Center (DUC). Additionally, student input will be sought out to determine what options to keep.

Even with the high cost of moving and expanding, Grossman expects prices to remain stable.

“We don’t expect prices to increase,” Grossman said. “We have always, [but] we’re not required to…follow the prices that Subway recommends for the region. It is my intention to keep it that way.”

As for the Rat, there are no plans for that space right now. But Hoffner said that it would not house an additional dining facility.

Grossman hopes that the contract will be finalized within the next month. The new space vacated by Hilltop Bakery would become available to Grossman after Commencement in May.


I’m not totally sure I have an opinion. I think it’s great to have the Rathskellar area still in use—it just feels like there’s some sort of tradition behind that to have that area over there, hidden away, tucked away, hidden in the basement. I think it’s kind of a cool atmosphere over there. I like the Subway where it is.

Jewell Thomas, senior


I like Hilltop. I don’t want Hilltop to leave. It has soup and bread bowls, and that is fantastic…I think they should keep it.

Marilee Fisher, freshman

  • Becky C

    Getting rid of Hilltop would be a tragedy! The salads are much more affordable, have better options and (in my experience) a shorter line than the DUC counterpart. What makes Hilltop so great is that it’s separate from the DUC.

  • Stan

    I agree with WU Senior. I sometimes get food at the DUC and bring it to Hilltop because it’s impossible to find places to sit at the DUC. This will just make the DUC more crowded.

  • WU Senior

    “Fixing” the problem of there not being enough space to eat by having one less eating location sounds like a typical WashU “solution” to me.

  • Cyrus

    Hilltop is awesome; it definitely should not be closed. I doubt Subway will have more space and seating if it moves; the lines are long at Hilltop too, which causes crowding issues, and the outdoor seating isn’t ideal in January.

  • Jordan W.

    I agree with the above – the Hilltop is a unique place to eat, and even if some of the menu items are moved to the DUC, that doesn’t change the fact that the main campus eateries will be more crowded than ever next year with one less option. Where will we be able to get wraps with rice, beans, and other Hilltop-only ingredients for lunch? I know I’ll particularly miss the Jake’s Special Wrap.

  • Christine D.

    Hilltop is wonderful, and the variety it offers is unmatched by the other eateries on campus. Unless Subway plans to offer grilled vegetables, hummus, and Craisins on its sandwiches and salads, Hilltop’s removal will mean a significant loss.

  • Scott L.

    It was bad enough that they put a Subway in the Rat in the first palce, but to leave it empty and unused will be quite sad. It is a shame they can’t restore it to what it once was 20 years ago.

    With so many other more appealing sandwich chain choices out there, It would be great to see something other than Subway take that spot.