• Joe Pace

Granite State of Mind, #147: Campus Convenience


Jonesing for an "El Presidente"

It's been a long hiatus on this project, between travel and kids home during the summer and finishing graduate school and trying to finish my latest book. But I'll admit I've missed writing about New Hampshire, and when a few folks at UNH reunion asked when they would be able to see entries again, I figured it was time to return to the effort. And with Durham on my mind from recent travels, what better place to revisit?


Campus Convenience is a convenience store, and frankly, not much of one. When I was in college in the 1990s, it seemed to exist largely to supply kegs to the frat houses around the corner and to make sandwiches at the deli counter. Ah, but what sandwiches. CampCo always had the basics, supplemented by a menu of specialty subs named after local legends (such as ATO's long-deceased huge dog, Duncan the Pony). I'm sure everyone has their old favorite. Mine was a roast beef with lettuce and yellow mustard; junior year I used to get one just about every Sunday night after Student Senate meetings. Senior year, they temporarily named it the "El Presidente" and I was able to enjoy a brief taste of the fame that comes with having a sandwich named after you.


Clinging to the corner of Main Street and Madbury Road, Campus Convenience is excellently located for both on- and off-campus patrons. Back in the summer of 1996, when Joel Mellin and I were living above the Century 21, it was a frequent stop. I never got down there much on rocking weekends when things could get wild - I wasn't much of a party guy in my sheltered college days. But I love that it's still there, even as so many other Main Street businesses I loved, like The Licker Store and JP's, have relocated solely to memory.


To tell the truth, I could go for an El Presidente right about now. Though maybe not a keg.

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