Diners at Xavier University's
Gallagher Student Center now have new dining options, in some very familiar places. Local restaurateur Andy Hajar officially took over management of the university's Ryan's Pub and Fusions Café, incorporating the Middle Eastern fare of Andy's Mediterranean Grille
into these popular campus restaurants.
"We are very excited to have Andy become part of the Xavier family," said Tom Barlow, XU's director of auxiliary services. He pointed out that Andy's, which was started 10 years ago by Hajar after he immigrated to Walnut Hills from Zahle, Lebanon, fits well with the university's commitments to both local business and creating a diverse campus culture.
"As a commitment to Xavier's mission to support our local community, we seek only local, family-run businesses," Barlow said.
Greg George, business manager for Andy's Mediterranean, said the warm regards are mutual.
"Andy thought this was a fabulous opportunity to team up with an institution like Xavier," he said. "It offers him a great environment to improve on the brand, and lays the platform for expanding the brand."
George noted that, although the healthy, natural ingredients in the Andy's menu may be a shift for some diners, the look and feel of XU landmark Ryan's Pub will remain mostly unchanged. The pub was built and named in honor of Steve Ryan, friend of building patron Charlie Gallagher, and the new manager intends to respect that history.
"Ryan's won't look any different beyond the branding," George said.
Both Ryan's Pub and Fusions opened under Andy's management June 2. And George said that excitement at the restaurants remains high.
"This is a dream come true for Andy," he said.
Writer: Matt Cunningham
Photo provided by Xavier University