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*This article appeared in the 4/1/02 Joke Issue* For the student wondering "Where's the beef?" an answer may soon be as close as 39th and Walnut streets -- fast food giant Wendy's is moving to campus.

University real estate officials announced last week that a 24-hour Wendy's will fill the spot left vacant in March by grocery store and deli Campus Market.

Vice President for Facilities Services Omar Blaik said that while a fast food chain is not something Penn would normally have considered, the University needed another option for students hungry during the one-hour period in the early morning when McDonalds is closed.

"The 40th and Walnut area is really becoming a restaurant hub, and we were looking for a way to diversify the options upperclassmen would have once they drop their meal plans," Blaik said.

The Wendy's deal comes on the heels of Executive Vice President John Fry's announcement that he would leave Penn at the end of this year to become Franklin and Marshall College's next president.

Fry, who has been instrumental in bringing retail to campus, was unavailable to comment for this article.

"Fry was always very much against the idea of fast food," Blaik, who is looking to fill Fry's position, added. "I, on the other hand, feel that this is a great idea."

While officials are uncertain when the restaurant will open, they hope to have the space ready sometime between mid-April and 2007.

Students, many of who have been lamenting the loss of the Burger King once located at 40th and Walnut streets, were pleased that their demands for another fast food venue were finally taken into account.

"Dude, that's off the heezy-fasheezy!" College sophomore Justin Collins exclaimed.

Even University Treasurer and Vice President for Finance Craig Carnaroli said he was excited. "Have you ever had the bacon double cheddar cheeseburger? If you have, you understand what I'm experiencing right now."

But the news may not bode so well for Wendy's competitor, the McDonald's, which also calls 40th and Walnut home. McDonald's, also known as the MacDonalds, has been Penn's sole fast food destination for the past few years. But no longer, once the late, great Dave Thomas's brainchild finally enrolls.

McDonald's regional Vice President David Murphy is not concerned about the location's future, though, but said that nothing can be more irritating than Neighbors Against McPenntrification and their leader, "Pope" Larry Falcon.

Blaik also does not see a problem.

"For the benefit of the students, we believe in competition here. There's nothing wrong with pitting two businesses against one another if that improves the quality of their product," Blaik said.

Meanwhile, History Professor Thomas Childers has accused the former owners of Campus Market of overcharging for words and phrases from his book The Wings of Morning.

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