The Refectory: A Sophisticated yet Casual Establishment



Erin Gormley Co News Editor

The University, in conjunction with Greg Dodge of Zavino Hospitality Group (ZHG), plans to open a new on-campus restaurant in August 2019 to serve elevated American classics in a relaxed setting. This new dining option on the University’s campus will be located at the corner of Lancaster and Ithan Avenues. This is an addition to The Commons, Villanova’s new residence hall, which is part of a $300 million development project. Adjacent to the new establishment will be the state-of-the-art Performing Arts Center which is anticipated to open in early 2020. 

The University has chosen “The Refectory” as the name for its sophisticated-yet-casual institution, a term used to reference a dining area for communal meals at academic institutions and monasteries. It is the first full-service restaurant at Villanova and comes from ZHG, the team behind Entoeca Tredici, a popular restaurant located in Bryn Mawr. 

The restaurant will include a distinct horseshoe bar, accented with marbled tabletops, ZHG’s recognizable captain’s chairs and a casual dining room. In addition, there will be a separate room for private parties and special chef tastings. The welcoming space will seat more than 200 guests, including 18 seats in the bar area and ample standing room. The décor will highlight Villanova’s history and tradition.

“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,” University President Rev. Peter M. Donohue, O.S.A., Ph.D. stated in an email. “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.”

As an added bonus, ZHG and Villanova are partnering with Parliament Espresso & Coffee Bar in an adjoining grab-and-go café where guests can choose from a compact menu of prepared breakfast options, sandwiches, pastries, salads and various 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 new restaurant and café will be open weekdays and weekends to serve students and area residents alike, combining the distinct flavor of the Main Line with the University’s rich history.