By Charles Louis Dominguez ’14
With the implementation of the new late start schedule, Friday’s bell rings at 1 p.m. each week.
Students flee from their classes, beginning the weekend.
While upperclassmen drive off to various food places and hangout spots, a wave of freshmen can be seen walking the path to AJ’s Fine Foods at Central and Camelback.
The outdoor sitting area is a center of activity and noise, as students converse and socialize.
Indoors it is just as frantic, with people scurrying about for the lunch hour.
The line for one of the more popular items –pizza– is quite long.
For many freshmen, this pizza serves as an introduction to Brophy.
This weekly migration has led many to ask the question, “Why do freshmen go to AJ’s?”
Freshmen were able to offer their own answers.
“It’s a good place to just meet people and have good, cheap food,” said Brendan Hinkle ’16.
AJ’s is most commonly cited as a social gathering place for freshmen, a place to meet classmates and take a break from the regular stresses of the week.
“Whenever you’re looking for a friend, they’re most likely going to be at AJ’s,” said Danny Murego ’16.
Upperclassmen reminiscing of their AJ’s experience list a variety of reasons for having made the weekly trip.
“Everyone went to AJ’s freshmen year,” said Greg Goulder ’13. “It was the place where everyone established who they were going to hang out with… becom(ing) a crucial part of the development of friendships freshmen year.”
The presence of Xavier students is also cited as a reason for going to AJ’s.
“Brophy freshmen go to AJ’s because that’s where the Xavier Gators are,” said Casey Weinstein ’13.
Other than the pursuit of comradery, the location’s proximity to Brophy’s campus is another reason for the popularity.
“I went every Friday, or pretty much every Friday,” said Grant Hickey ’14. “I think it was just the place to go; it was close, you could walk there.”
Although Fridays see the most business from Brophy and Xavier students, there is a sizable community that visits during the regular school week as well.
Students who rely on carpools or other means of transportation can often be found sitting outside the storefront after school.
For others, AJ’s offers needed relief as the week comes to a closure.
“It’s just fun spending time outside of school and removing yourself from the pain and toil of education,” said AK Alilonu ’16.