I’m sitting in the UHall commons and everything is wrong. Walking down the stairs, I anticipated the sharp scent of ketchup, the crackle of cooking oil and that warm orange glow of hope and hamburgers. What did I get instead? The blue and white stripes and marble interiors of yet another breakfast place.
I’m sitting in the UHall commons and everything is wrong because our beloved Burger Studio is no more.
When you lose someone you love, you try to cling to your memories together. I remember every hungover Sunday afternoon — rolling out of bed at 2 p.m. and craving nothing but the greasy comfort of curly fries and cherry Dr. Pepper. I remember every delirious post-exam snack hunt and every frantic dining dollar haul. Who was there for me through all these trying times? Who stood by me when all other dining halls were closed for the night? Burger Studio.
It hasn’t been long since Burger Studio was taken from us, so unexpected and far too soon, yet there is so much I already miss. The veggie burger with an unexplained extra patty. Those onions that I never asked for but enjoyed nonetheless. And that singular curly fry in my always overflowing tray of regular ones. While I may not be able to physically enjoy these little nuggets of joy anymore, they will live on in my heart.
Buger Studio wasn’t just a dining hall, it was an institution. It began by building your own meal on those cute, glitchy little machines. That was followed by taking in the scents and sounds as you waited for the sweet servers to call out your number, fuming when some Tapingo b-tch’s food was ready first. And, finally, sinking your teeth into a juicy, yet always somehow limp burger — an emotional and sensory journey like no other.
Without Burger Studio, UHall is just a set of walls and I am just a sad little bobcat. “People always leave,” the wise Peyton Sawyer once said, and I guess she was right because that’s exactly what Burger Studio has done. Alas, forgiveness is a part of love and if I could forgive them for those nights of lettuce-induced food poisoning, I can forgive them for this. No matter where it is now, Burger Studio will always have a place in my heart and no amount of grief-filled Shake Shack trips will ever replace it.
A version of this article appears in the Monday, Sept. 16, 2019, print edition. Email Ria Mittal at [email protected]