Villanova University to Open First On-Campus Restaurant in August

Villanova partners with Greg Dodge and Zavino Hospitality Group on a new full-service dining establishment—part of a transformational campus development

“The Refectory,” a sophisticated-yet-casual restaurant and grill for Villanovans and area residents

Villanova University to Open First On-Campus Restaurant in August

VILLANOVA, Pa.—Villanova University and Greg Dodge of Zavino Hospitality Group (ZHG) have teamed up for a sophisticated-yet-casual restaurant and grill that will debut this August on the University’s Radnor Township campus. The restaurant will be located at the corner of Lancaster and Ithan Avenues within The Commons, a group of new residence halls that are part of a nearly $300 million transformation of the institution’s former surface parking lots. The University’s new state-of-the-art Performing Arts Center, slated to open in early 2020, will be located adjacent to the new eatery. The Villanova-owned restaurant will serve elevated American classics to both the University community and area residents.

Villanova has chosen “The Refectory” as the name for its new establishment—a term used to describe a dining room for communal meals at academic institutions and monasteries. The first full-service eatery at Villanova, this approachable restaurant and grill will provide a dynamic dining destination by combining the high energy of a bustling restaurant with the vibrant atmosphere of the University’s Main Line campus.

The Refectory will feature a stunningly beautiful horseshoe bar, accented with marbled tabletops, ZHG’s reliably recognizable captain’s chairs, and a casually elegant dining room, complete with wood-finished banquettes and cedar-stained floors. There also will be a vault room for accommodating private parties and special chef tastings. The welcoming space will comfortably seat more than 200 guests, including 18 seats in the bar area and plenty of standing room, and the décor will highlight Villanova’s history and tradition with artwork and other design elements.

“The Refectory is an exciting addition to our campus, which has undergone a dramatic transformation in the past several years,” said the Rev. Peter M. Donohue, OSA, PhD, Villanova University President. “Villanova is proud to partner with Greg Dodge and Zavino Hospitality Group on our first full-service restaurant, which will create a Villanova-centric dining experience for our campus and local community. With its family-friendly atmosphere and location in the heart of campus, I know it will become a premier gathering spot for Villanovans, visitors and patrons of all ages.”

In addition, ZHG and Villanova will partner with Parliament Espresso & Coffee Bar—created by Elior North America’s premier dining and events brand, Constellation Culinary Group—in an adjacent grab-and-go café where guests can choose from a small menu of prepared breakfast options, sandwiches, homemade pastries, salads and coffee drinks. The company specializes in “seed to cup” offerings and sources their coffee beans from a family-run farm, La Virgen Coffee Estates, in Nicaragua. Both the restaurant and café will be open weekdays and weekends to serve students and area residents alike.

“The quality of the food will be matched only by the attention to detail from both our front-of-house and kitchen staffs,” says Dodge. “We designed this restaurant with students, alumni, faculty, families and neighbors in mind, as a place where they all can gather and linger over a great meal and delicious drink.”

About Zavino Hospitality Group (ZHG): Founded and led by Greg Dodge, the group debuted their first restaurant, Zavino, in Philadelphia’s thriving Midtown Village neighborhood less than a decade ago; since then, they have opened another Zavino in Philadelphia’s University City area and three locations of their second concept, Tredici, in Philadelphia, Bryn Mawr, PA, and Washington, D.C. The group has several more openings in the works for 2019, in addition to the Villanova restaurant. ZHG will serve as consultant for Zagafen by Zavino in Bala Cynwyd, PA, then open a new concept, Enza in Wyndmoor, PA, and add a Zavino location in Kansas City, MO’s Ameristar Casino and another Tredici in Downingtown, PA. Dodge has nearly 35 years of experience in the hospitality industry having started at age 14 and then working in management for top restaurateurs, including Stephen Starr, Marcus Samuelsson and Larry Forgione’s American Restaurant Group.

About Villanova University: Since 1842, Villanova University’s Augustinian Catholic intellectual tradition has been the cornerstone of an academic community in which students learn to think critically, act compassionately and succeed while serving others. There are more than 10,000 undergraduate, graduate and law students in the University's six colleges—the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Villanova School of Business, the College of Engineering, the M. Louise Fitzpatrick College of Nursing, the College of Professional Studies and the Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law. Ranked among the nation’s top universities, Villanova supports its students’ intellectual growth and prepares them to become ethical leaders who create positive change everywhere life takes them. For more, visit www.villanova.edu.

FOR THE MEDIA

Available for comment:

  • Greg Dodge (Zavino Hospitality Group)
  • Tony Alfano (Villanova University, Associate Vice President of Auxiliary Services)

Media Contacts: