I noticed this article in today's Daily Pennsylvanian.
Cursed? Third eatery in three years opens in Spruce space. Savory replaces Tony Luke's, which failed to meet projected revenue rates last yearHmmm. Can anyone shed light on this?
Tony Luke’s “wasn’t meeting our forecasts,” (Aramark district manager John) Cipollini said. “Tony Luke’s proved to be very popular with the general street, especially the construction workers, but not a lot of dinning dollars were being spent.”[...]
Contrary to Cippollini, Tony Luke, who owned and operated the restaurant which bears his name, said that the decision to close was due to disagreement within the management but would not elaborate on what that disagreement was, citing “legal restrictions.”
I doubt I can shed real light on this, but as a former Penn employee and someone who is pretty familiar with Aramark dining operations (and smoked gouda cheese) by now, I can offer an interpretation of the text.
Since the space is managed by Aramark, it is technically part of the campus dining services. You will note from the article that students can use their flex dining credits to eat there.
Aramark's main concern with the space is to maximize the amount of student dining revenue it receives. Anything aside from that is gravy, and probably goes to the contractor anyway (depending on how the agreement is structured; it could be some other arrangement, but I will wager that it's probably pretty much like a standard commercial lease except that the tenant also agrees to accept Dining Dollars as payment).
It seems to me that Tony Luke and John Cipollini were referring to the same problem in their comments. Tony Luke could have been making out like a bandit in that space--and judging from Cipollini's comment about the street business it got, he was--but if the students weren't coming in, Aramark wasn't getting what it wanted out of the deal. So sayonara, Tony, it's been nice knowin' ya.