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Uptown restaurants stay open late for students

By Leah Marshall, For The Miami Student

On Friday and Saturday nights, High Street is at its busiest. Restaurants like Bruno's Pizza, Insomnia Cookies and Bagel & Deli stay open until 2 a.m. or later, selling food to the post-bar crowd, while other restaurants like Chipotle and SoHi close at the same hours on the weekends as they do on weekdays - around 9 p.m.

Insomnia Cookies stays open the latest in town, delivering from 1 p.m. to 3 a.m. every day of the week, including the weekends.

Other businesses, like Bruno's Pizza, take to the streets and sell straight from the sidewalk.

"We're busy through supper, and then there's a lull, and then we get busy again late," Bruno's owner Roger Perry said.

"I know we make a ton of money at the stands on the sidewalk between midnight and one in the morning," Bruno's Manager Chelsea Parkston said. "And that's just from selling single slices straight out of the box."

Some companies with locations on High Street, like Chipotle, operate as a chain and have hours set firmly by corporate. Almost all Chipotle restaurants are open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Chipotle establishments are open past 10 p.m.

It's not only established businesses taking advantage of the late night crowds. Church groups and other organizations set up post along Slant Walk, selling cookies and other baked goods to students walking home from Uptown. According to first-year Lisa Poyar, the convenience of the sidewalk sales is tough to ignore.

"I am never going to turn down a 50 cent brownie at 1 a.m.," Poyar said. "Especially if it's on my way home anyway."

Although the late hours are profitable for businesses and popular among students, other small businesses Uptown take the opposite route and close at their normal weekday hours, such as SoHi, a sandwich restaurant on High Street.

"We've tried it before but we really just weren't prepared," SoHi employee Tom Bollow said. "Friday's net sales are at about $3,500 dollars, and that is with closing at 10 p.m."

According to Bollow, the owners of the small business have the ultimate say in what their hours are and they choose to avoid the lucrative but chaotic late night crowd.

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