Aug 1 / Rob

PC Dukes Is Gone and We Are Sad

That is a picture of PC Dukes. Or more accurately, it is a picture of the rubble that once was PC Dukes. It’s been well documented that the former home of the double-punch was nearing its end, but it doesn’t make the destruction any less painful. Pour a little All Sport imitation (and carbonated for some reason) Gatorade type sport drink on the curb. First they took D-Hall. Now our Dukes is gone too.

Some youngs have pointed out that with the destruction of Dukes, Top Dog also bit the dust. That may or not be true. We’ve never heard of such a place. As far as we’re concerned there was nothing but a big ballroom above Dukes. A ballroom that was largely left empty as our memory serves, save the occasional Dave Matthews Band concert. I think it also was the location for my 100 days to Graduation party, which really was nothing more than the school throwing a few Big Head Todd, Widespread Panic, and Snoop Dog records on the PA and serving a bunch of free beer to a crowd of folks in ill fitting jeans, flannels, and Birkenstocks with wool socks (because the 90s were all about fashion). But y’all can mourn Top Dog too. We won’t judge.

Students today have all sorts of options. The new D-Hall has Steak n Shake, Chik Fil A and a variety of quick service dining options. That wasn’t the case back in our day. We had great food. JMU has always had great food. And if you talk to alums even older they us (don’t laugh, they exist) they’ll tell you about getting beer in the dining halls. But we didn’t have a bunch of quick service options. We had D-Hall in it’s all you can eat glory. And we had Mrs. Greens. And we had off hours takeout spots like Lakeside (so good) and Door Four Subs. And we had the fancy date night spot (ed. note: not a date night spot) known as the Steak House and a basic “throw some Old El Paso seasoning on it” type of Mexican lunch spot. But for if you wanted to grab a quick dinner or lunch, or take something back to your place, you pretty much had Dukes. And Dukes was great.

Now memories are tricky things. Sometimes they mess with us and cause us to overrate things that are associated with particularly happy times in our lives. But I’ll go to my grave believing Dukes made one of the best Hot Ham & Cheese sandwiches on the planet. And the burgers were damn good too. The double-cheeseburger (proper name: Royal Duke Burger With Cheese) was my go to. And can we all agree that learning exactly what a double-punch was and how to properly execute it was a defining moment in the life of all JMU students? Yes. Yes, we can.

But time marches on. The new D-Hall looks fantastic. There are plenty of wonderful dining options all over campus, not to mention a pretty great selection of eats in the ‘burg. But we’ll miss Dukes. We’ll miss the simplicity of D-Hall or Dukes being the only real dinnertime options. We’ll miss everyone strolling through the Warren POs afterwards, purportedly to check their mail, but really there hoping to run into that cute gal or guy to find out where they’d be heading out to that night, because you definitely weren’t texting them or contacting them once they were out.

Actually, maybe the headline is wrong. PC Dukes is gone. But we’re not sad. We’re pretty grateful for the memories.

h/t @JMUMetroDukes for the photo


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  1. The Fly / Aug 1 2018

    Wait, Steak House was totally a date night in the 80s. You needed freaking reservations. But I shall miss the double cheeseburger at PC Dukes, and lord help me if students no longer have all you can eat beefalo pasta at D Hall. Time marches on.

  2. Dukie95 / Aug 2 2018

    D-Hall, Dukes, Greens, JMs, Gatti’s…every place I sat and stuffed my hot ham and cheese hole is gone. We’ll always have the Beanery and Waffle House, I suppose.

  3. wexcelsior / Aug 2 2018

    I could really go for a ham and swiss on white, toasted, with bacon that I’ll strategically not pay for.

  4. tedward / Aug 2 2018

    Hot ham and cheese… the best

  5. Crysta / Aug 2 2018

    The steak house thing still existed in some fancy form when I was there early 2000s and def needed reservations. Went once with my dad when he was visiting (he’s class of ’83 so had to check it out).

    Oh Dukes. So tasty. But also Lakeside? I lived at Lakeside, so probably ate my weight in their cheesy bread. Good thing I had Mrs. Green’s for lunch or they would’ve had to roll me out of my dorm room that May.

  6. SunChase / Aug 3 2018

    Top Dog was underrated. Mongolian Grill was always on point. But I don’t even know how many times I crossed the railroad tracks for some buffalo chicken wraps or a burrito from Dukes… sad day in the burg.

  7. Todd / Aug 3 2018

    Dukie95 – Bad news for ya, no more Beanery. But it’s Sipe’s now and they seem to be doing a great job.

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