The Corner’s next resident arrives in just a few short weeks. Sheetz Café will take Eddy’s Tavern’s former location but is already making its presence known.
Sheetz is trading the gas pump for a wait staff and is ready to compete with the Corner’s culinary juggernauts. Scheduled to open “towards the beginning of fall, near the start of classes,” according to a company press report, it will be sure to stand out among its neighbors on University Avenue.
The decision to bring a nationally-recognized chain eatery to the Corner’s collection of quintessential small college town venues was not taken lightly. The Charlottesville Board of Architectural Review did not pass the proposal unanimously back in January, and the combination convenience store and restaurant has met backlash from students as well.
In a poll of 73 randomly-selected UVa students, a weighty 42% responded negatively to the corporate footprint of Sheetz, wishing a more homey restaurant, bar, or study lounge was approved.
In response to criticism at the beginning of construction in February, Natalie Feaver of Sheetz contracted architectural design firm Profile AI, and announced that the new location would have an outdoor seating area and reduced corporate branding to match the Corner aesthetic.
The bright red signage and awnings are still coming to Charlottesville. By filling the roles of both cafe and convenience store, Sheetz hopes to draw customers from both markets along the student-friendly site. Though the Sheetz team will have their work cut out for them pulling devoted customers away from other Corner favorites, they join CVS, Cohn’s on the Corner, and The Corner Market as the fourth convenience store on the Charlottesville strip.
Sheetz Café expects to hire nearly thirty new students and Charlottesville residents as salespeople and managers for the new location.