The Newport Beach company Midnight Muncheez has been serving night owls in the Newport and Costa Mesa area for 14 months and is now spreading to UC Irvine.
In addition to providing students with late-night grub, party supplies, toiletries and accessories all with affordable delivery, Midnight Muncheez is allowing UCI partiers one extra supply: alcohol.
“You know, people partying and trying to get liquor are going to get it one way or another,” said Jared Jones the owner of Midnight Muncheez. “But now they can call us and they do not have to drive drunk. I mean, we are not going to deliver to them if we go to that party and they’re totally wasted because we are not going to contribute to a totally drunk person either. If someone is stumbling over drunk, he’s not getting that beer.”
While the original mission was to keep intoxicated students in their houses and out of their cars, Jones’ idea has since expanded and he is now reaching beyond the partying scene. According to Jones, who has lived around the Newport area for years, despite the area being littered with college students, there were no decent restaurants open late at night.
Now, however, Midnight Muncheez has a pizza and sandwich kitchen in the works to deliver food between the hours of 5 p.m. and 5 a.m. any night of the week. With the new homemade pizzas and sandwiches, Midnight Muncheez is trying to reach beyond the “munchies” crowd in catering to students during late-night study sessions and even families.
“Right now we are limited to a certain group of people,” Jones said. “We just got our liquor license, which is jumping really fast right now, but now that we have that, why not just do everything? It’s just a one-stop shop.”
According to Jones, after they receive approval from the Health Department around April 1, Muncheez will begin selling medium pizzas of all varieties and about eight to 10 kinds of sandwiches.
The late-night food delivery may even be familiar for those who lived on-campus at UCI last year when a student-run company by the name of Major Munch delivered food to Mesa Court and Middle Earth. The business was started by UCI students Aaron Friedland, now a second-year business economics major and Zack Sher, now a second-year undeclared major, who lived in Mesa Court and would buy goods at Costco. The pair would make food using the dorm ovens and deliver them to students at all hours of the night wearing an army “Major Munch” costume.
Despite similarities, Major Munch differed from Midnight Muncheez in that it delivered only food and was later discontinued due to time concerns.
“I think [Midnight Muncheez’s market is] a market that is fairly untapped,” said fourth-year psychology major Jeffery Grock, “because UCI doesn’t do anything to provide food to people that live here. Brandywine used to be open until 11:30 p.m. but then people started coming drunk so they stopped it.”
Grock believes that UCI should try to feed off the need for late-night dining.
“If students are going to spend money on food,” Grock said, “it might as well go to the school. I think UCI should do a better job providing food and I think [Midnight Muncheez] has a really good thing going.”
As for expansion, Jones said that Muncheez is still growing. They are currently trying to open another franchise near San Diego State when the pizza kitchen is finally set up and approved. However, while the company is not currently selling pizza, students can still order frozen meals, chips, dips, ice cream, beverages and other snacks. While students are able to phone in their orders, Jones highly recommends the use of their Web site, MidnightMuncheez.com; the Web site allows for easier order processing and receives many more sales. Muncheez hopes to keep serving the Newport, Costa Mesa and Irvine communities as a means to decrease drunk driving.
“Especially for fraternities,” Grock said, “it helps with risk management. If someone ever needs to go get something, they can not do that because if anyone in a chapter at a fraternity event drives drunk, the fraternity itself gets held responsible.”
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