What’s Next for Players?

What's Next for Players?

In spring of 2012, UT reached a deal with Players Restaurant to purchase the land the burger joint sits on at the corner of MLK and Whitis Avenue. Longhorn owners Carlos Oliveira and Eddie Hempe received approximately $3 million for the property and were given a 10-year lease that the University could terminate with six months’ notice.

Now that the Graduate School of Business’ Rowling Hall is slated for completion sometime in 2017—five years before the lease end date—it looks like UT will have to take that course of action.

“Nothing is nailed down yet,” says Kevin Hegarty, UT vice president and chief financial officer, “but it’s clear we’re going to need the land eventually. And that 2017 date seems very realistic; that’s what everyone is targeting.”

For each year left on the lease, UT will have to pay Players $100,000. At presstime, the Office of Campus Planning and Facilities Management estimated a December 2014 construction start-date, but it’s unclear how long Players will remain operational.

Will Oliveira and Hempe open a new Players location? Your guess is as good as ours. The Alcalde’s attempts to contact the owners were unsuccessful. If they do plan to close the shutters for good, it looks like future generations of Longhorns will just have to go elsewhere for a greasy burger fix.

Photo by Anna Donlan.


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