The small, shack-like structure in front of Corcoran Commons has a new look-Beans, Creams, and Dreams has been replaced with Meatball Obsession, which opened on April 21 with success, according to Megan O’Neill, associate director of restaurant operations for Boston College Dining Services (BCDS).
“The best proof of success was we were so busy the first week that we ran out of meatballs, and Meatball Obsession had to get an emergency production run made and shipped to us,” O’Neill said in an email. “They have been a great group to work with and are really dedicated to providing an excellent product to our customer base.”
Meatball Obsession has two locations on Lower Campus: the shack and Lower Live Dining Hall. Both locations serve beef and turkey meatballs in a cup, with toppings including mini ravioli, five cheeses, vegetable sautes, and mozzarella cheese pearls, according to an announcement from BCDS.
The new dining options will be available to students inside Corcorans Commons during lunch or Late Night, but not dinner due to outside operating hours during that time.
Students can check the comment board inside Corcoran Commons for further details about when Meatball Obsession will be available inside the dining hall, O’Neill said.
Meatball Obsession will be open for all seven days during Senior Week from 4 to 7 p.m. for afternoon snack and dinner in response to student comments about the dinner rush between 6 and 7 p.m. It will also be open during the summer from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. when the dining hall is closed for summer activities.
The hours of service for the shack during the academic year depend on the weather, “since [the shack] cannot be open if there is a chance of lightning, extreme heat, or extreme cold,” O’Neill said.
Fall semester hours of service for the shack have yet to be determined, according to O’Neill.
Founded by Dan Mancini, Meatball Obsession opened its first location in Greenwich Village in New York City in March 2012. The company offers beef, turkey, chicken, or pork sausage meatballs based on recipes from Mancini’s grandmother. “At Meatball Obsession, it’s all about the meatball,” according to the company’s website. The meatballs are served in a cup with dipping bread and personalized toppings.
Meatball Obsession first reached out to BCDS in January about partnering to create an on-campus location, because “they felt our campus would be interested in a fun, new concept,” O’Neill said. BC is the first university to partner with Meatball Obsession.
The company visited the campus in March to present its story and menu to BCDS and host a taste test that “generated rave reviews,” O’Neill said.
BCDS agreed to test the concept with students, faculty, and staff on campus by randomly asking them to taste samples from Meatball Obsession and to state whether they would buy the product. Students, faculty, and staff were not told where the meatballs came from during the test.
In order to open the shack by Marathon Monday, Meatball Obsession’s CEO, Paul Bartick, and the director of operations, Steve Strandberg, came to BC to help prepare and launch the new shack. They stayed for two more days after the opening of the shack to train and work with the Meatball Obsession team at BC.
“The BC Dining management team worked closely and quickly with Meatball Obsession’s senior team to make [the opening of the shack] happen by Marathon day,” O’Neill said. “The concept has been extremely successful and well received. We have had many positive comments, repeat customers, and sales have remained strong, even during the rainy days.”
Meatball Obsession is the second installment in the shack after Beans, Creams, and Dreams.
“Beans, Creams, and Dreams is a challenging location for a concept, as it is limited in electrical capacity and space. It has served as a grill location that has been open all summer for the last few years. Meatball Obsession requires a small footprint and limited electrical, so it is great fit for this space,” O’Neill said.
The founder of Meatball Obsession will be in Corcoran Commons today from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. to talk and answer questions about his company, as well as give out free samples of meatballs. There will also be a raffle for students to enter for a chance to win a Meatball Obsession party for 50 people.