Screaming into the void: What we want to replace Doughocracy on the Loop

With the closing of multiple eateries on the Loop, Scene Staff is in mourning. Doughocracy, Snarfs and other staples of the Loop are closing now, while many beloved restaurants closed in the past (RIP Chipotle). Here’s our hot takes on what food places should try to make moves on the open lots.

Chick-Fil-A:

I grew up within walking distance of a Chick-Fil-A. It’s part of what makes my home my home. I remember getting stuck on the outdoor playground crawling across a net. I froze there, panicking like a feral possum in traffic, stared down at the ground and began screaming inconsolably until my barely older sister guided me to safety. Stories like that are why Chick-Fil-A is ingrained in my bones. I know my breakfast order and dinner order like the back of my hand, and currently have a “membership card” because my mom bought me a Chick-Fil-A calendar for Christmas. The lyric-less Christian music in the background may be off-putting for some folks, but if they have a drive-thru service, one could get the excellent food without the ambience, with the added bonus of unmatched customer service that is their pleasure. —Katy Hutson, Senior Scene Editor

Inexpensive Italian Restaurant:

This is not a specific restaurant, but a specific type of restaurant that I feel is sorely overlooked in the Delmar Loop region. Recently, I was talking to a professor who was a Washington University student back in the ‘90s, and he mentioned to me that the now-defunct Cicero’s used to serve a spaghetti plate for $1.99. Who wouldn’t want that back? With all respect to Olive Garden, I do not want an Olive Garden by any stretch of the imagination. I am talking about an old-fashioned, no frills, Italian place where the menu consists of chicken parmesan and maybe six-to-eight pasta options, red-and-white checkered tablecloth adorn all the tables and the decorations on the wall make it look like a shrine to Frank Sinatra. This is the kind of restaurant that already exists on the Hill, but it is impossible to get there unless you own a car; so, why not bring some of that flavor closer to campus. On a general economic level, I guarantee that anywhere on the Loop that could make a nice baked ziti and keep the prices down would automatically become one of the most popular spots for Wash. U. students. On a personal level, I just really like pasta. —Jon Lewis, Associate Editor

A real bagel place:

Let’s be honest: I complain about St. Louis’ lack of solid pizza and bagel options at least once a week. I go home (to New York, obviously) and my first request is for a warm bagel with a healthy dose of cream cheese and some thinly sliced Nova Scotia. Here’s the thing: St. Louis bagels aren’t “bad”—in fact, I’m a big fan of the French toast bagels from Einstein’s. But every bagel I’ve eaten in St. Louis is, at the end of the day, just bread. They don’t have the crispy outside with the pillowy middle that my childhood made me accustomed to. All I want—and I don’t think this is too much to ask for—is an authentic New York bagel in the middle of the Midwest. I’ve yet to find a bagel outside the New York metropolitan area that lives up to my (perhaps impossibly) high standards. Calling all New York/New Jersey/Connecticut folks: If you’ve found a New York-style bagel in St. Louis that does the trick, please let me know. —Ella Chochrek, Staff Writer

Dunkin Donuts:

When I was a senior in high school, I had a very strict morning routine. I would wake up about twenty minutes before school started, throw on my best variation of a sweater and Birkenstocks, and run out of my apartment building to the bus stop. I would take the No. 66 Chicago Avenue bus almost a block past my school to the Dunkin’ Donuts on Ogden Avenue. From the bus stop, you could smell the gooey frosting of the sub-par donuts, and when I entered the establishment—my breakfast of champions consisting of a cinnamon raisin bagel with strawberry cream cheese and a small iced coffee—would be waiting at the same corner of the counter each day. Samar, the woman at the register, would yell her line, “Good morning, Ms. Izzy!” That was my cue to smile, wave, and run to school.

When I first got to Wash. U., I was disappointed that there wasn’t a Dunkin’ Donuts on campus. Instead, I had to conform to the unfamiliar and complex lingo of Starbucks found in the intimidating Bauer Hall. To have a Dunkin’ Donuts on the Loop would not only bring me a piece of home, but it would provide affordable and decent coffee to the Loop and students of Wash. U. After all, America runs on Dunkin’. —Isabelle Gillman, Contributing Writer

A nice brunch place:

I’m sick of BD brunch. I have been since the middle of freshman year. I want to be able to go out to a nice, classy brunch with my friends that’s more of an excursion than heading over to the Village but doesn’t require a car. I want a place with great coffee, popovers and eggs. If the Loop were to get a nice, relatively inexpensive brunch place, I know that I would end up there more mornings than I’d care to admit. I don’t demand much, just a solid eggs benedict. —Josh Zucker, Senior Editor

Panera:

No, not St. Louis Bread Co. Panera. P-A-N-E-R-A. Or Au Bon Pain. But not St. Louis Bread Co. —Tyler Sabloff, Senior Editor

A big parking lot for food trucks:

You know what breaks up the eight food places you visit on repeat? Food trucks. They inject life and variation into the stagnant food scene that is the Loop. Instead of waiting for authentic Mexican food to occupy an entire space and risk so much on the success of one area, why not bring the food and less of the risk? Good restaurants are an essential part of my life, and allowing so many more to come into the Wash. U. bubble can only bring happiness. —Matt Wallace, Staff Columnist

McDonald’s:

In my hometown, there are at least two McDonald’s restaurants within a five-minute drive of my house. After football games, club meetings or band practices, my friends and I would drag ourselves over and grin-and-bear a ridiculously long wait just for the joy of tasting perfectly hot and perfectly salty fries. Sometimes, I get tired of posh restaurants with fancy appetizers or having to navigate crowds at Seoul Taco or Corner 17 on the weekends. Crappy fast food is an absolute necessity for any college student, and BD’s half-and-halfs shouldn’t be the only source of it. The nearest McDonald’s is almost 15 minutes away by car, likely a result of Wash. U. being nestled in the middle of an upper-class neighborhood. Bringing one to the Loop is a much-needed and well-overdue move. —Chalaun Lomax, Staff Writer

A Memorial to Doughocracy:

You people did this. You, all of you, collectively drove the best pizza place on the Loop out of business, and you should all be ashamed. What’s that? You think the “crust was soggy?” Well I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but you wouldn’t know a good pizza if it smacked you in the face, full of customizable toppings and speed cooked in a state-of-the-art oven in five minutes or less. Doughocracy was special. It was a place of culture and warmth and imagination, and it was cruelly ripped from us without so much as a chance to properly say goodbye. Doughocracy will be missed, and those of us with taste buds would like a place to mourn our loss. It’s the least you cretins could do for us. —Sam Seekings, Editor-in-Chief