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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The Gray Jett Cafe to replace Bro-Yo in August

The new restaurant will be specialize in vegan and vegetarian food, but will also serve traditional food.
Photo by TJ Dysart
Construction is underway for the restaurant to open next month.

Marquette announced a new restaurant will be occupying the space that previously housed Bro-Yo. 

At the end of May, Marquette lost two beloved local restaurants after The Broken Yolk and Sobelman’s at Marquette closed their doors. The 1600 block of Wells Street gained two additional vacant storefronts — leaving students with limited choices.

“I was glad we at least had Qdoba and Starbucks, but it was kind of sad to see those two places go because we were left with just the basic options,” Gaby Cerny, a junior in the College of Business Administration, said.

That restaurant, The Gray Jett Cafe, is a vegan and vegetarian-style restaurant dedicated to promoting healthier eating habits. 

Although an exact grand opening date has yet to be announced, owners Andren Jett and Shana Gray said they are committed to opening before the start of the fall semester.

Gray and Jett met amidst the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and found they had a shared passion for eating healthy. Three years later, they decided to extend their passion by opening their second location on Marquette’s campus. The current first location is on West Tower Ave. in Milwaukee.

“We had options when it came to deciding (on a location) but we knew early on that this was not only a community we wanted to serve, but this was a community we wanted to be a part of,” Gray said. 

While the cafe primarily specializes in vegan and vegetarian food, Gray and Jett said they are committed to inclusivity and will offer traditional dishes as well.

The pick-up and delivery menu is located on their website which already offers options for both vegetarians or vegans and those who choose not to.

Some of the menu items are vegan loaded hash browns, vegan brisket and vegan jerk tacos.

While the cafe is currently still in the midst of contracting and renovation, Gray and Jett are already making their mark on campus joining Auntie Anne’s as the second black-owned restaurant on campus.

Jett said that this is a full circle opportunity for the business given that he was once a minority student in college.

“Sometimes it can be intimidating in an environment where you may only be like one, two or three people of color in the class,” Jett said. “If you can have somewhere on campus where you can say, ‘Hey they kind of look like me,’ they will know that we get what it’s like.” 

Nevertheless, Gray added that making sure each and every student feels welcome is the end goal  with being a part of the community being just as important as serving the community.

“We want to bring back humility, because humility is lost in this world,” Gray said.

With August around the corner, Cerny said that in order for Gray Jett to last on campus they will have to learn from the mistakes of the other businesses that preceded them.

“Hopefully they can offer competitive wages for students,” Cerny said. “I know a lot of people who already have comfortable jobs on campus, but if Gray Jett can offer more they’ll probably last.”

For Gray and Jett, they say they are ready for the challenge.

“We know not everyone may be ready to go the full vegan or vegetarian route,” Jett said. “But if we can just get you to stop in once, you will see that we are bringing back good customer service. We will know your name and always have something for you to eat.” 

Gray Jett is currently available online for pick up and delivery. The owners say they will share opening day plans when they become available.

This story was written by TJ Dysart. He can be reached at [email protected]

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About the Contributor
TJ Dysart
TJ Dysart, Content Coach
TJ Dysart is a junior from Boston, Massachusetts studying journalism and criminology and law and is the content coach of the Marquette Wire. Last year, he also served in this role. Prior to this position he served as a new multimedia journalist as well as a news reporter. He is also currently the 2023-2024 Foley Fellow for The James W. Foley Legacy Foundation. Outside the Wire, TJ enjoys playing basketball, cooking and hanging out with friends.

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