Blue Pepper Asian Cuisine opened its doors last month in the Old Student Center, replacing former tenant Hi Thai. Despite a new name and new ownership, the store provides similar pan-Asian dishes, from noodles to curries to a variety of new vegan options.
Hi Thai had occupied the space since its opening in 2007. Mr. Sta, a representative of Blue Pepper, explained that Hi Thai’s owners had allowed their lease to expire. He said that the previous owners, two brothers, did not renew the lease because one of them wanted to retire. As a partnership, they agreed the store needed both owners in order to remain Hi Thai. When the partnership was dissolved, Hi Thai was replaced by a new vendor: Blue Pepper.
“I think it’s pretty good compared to other on-campus food,” said third-year Golden Hong, referring to the chicken pad thai. “You get a good portion and it’s relatively cheap.”
However, several students who have frequented Hi-Thai in the past struggled to find any meaningful difference in the quality of food or service. Some believed that nothing had changed. The store is thus far garnering a positive reaction, with students praising the food quality, portions, and price.
“I didn’t expect it to be good, but it was!” said student Terry Albea, praising the yellow curry over rice.
Blue Pepper is located in the Student Center, adjacent to the KSDT radio studio. It operates Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
“I assumed that [the location was] the same,” said Albea. “I didn’t even notice that [it] changed from Hi Thai.”
Ryan Maher is a contributing writer at The Triton.