The Habit Burger and Grill will open inside UCR’s Latitude 55 at 7:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 15., according to Executive Director of Dining, Hospitality, and Retail Services David Henry. The Habit will replace The Grill at Latitude 55.
The switch from The Grill to The Habit was announced during an ASUCR senate meeting in May of 2017 where Henry unveiled the plan to convert most of the restaurants in the HUB to third-party vendors, restaurants not owned by UCR. This change is partly intended to turn profits upward for Dining, which, according to Henry, had been running at a loss of between $1.7 million and several hundreds of thousands of dollars every year since the HUB food court opened in 2007. These changes are projected to turn profits of about $200,000 a year.
The Habit’s opening follows the conversion of Sushi by Panda into Hibachi-San and Habanero’s into Chronic Tacos. Pieology, the create-your-own pizza chain, is expected to replace the pizza and pasta restaurant La Fiamma, but the timeline for this is unknown.
In a phone conversation on Nov. 9, Henry revealed that The Habit underwent their food service inspection on Thursday, Nov. 9 and that training of new employees will commence over the ensuing weekend. Henry described the new atmosphere in Latitude 55 as “stunning” with a variety of new televisions and long booths with a “sports bar feel.” “Students will really enjoy it,” Henry said.
On Tuesday, Nov. 14, the restaurant will celebrate a soft opening where, from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m., 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., students can purchase food and all of the proceeds will go to the R’Pantry, UCR’s on-campus food pantry.
The Habit is a California-based burger chain originally founded in Santa Barbara in 1969 by two brothers. The chain has expanded to over 200 locations across the United States.