There’s a Chill in the Air

There's a Chill in the Air

Conor Fitzgerald

Mexican food has come to Hamilton! On March 7, Chilly Willy’s opened in the basement of the Palace Theater and has been serving Mexican food to Colgate students and members of the Hamilton community ever since. Colgate students can now get Mexican dishes ranging from tacos to enchiladas; they can even have it brought right to their door as Chilly Willy’s delivers after 8:00 p.m.The idea of Chilly Willy’s originated with Colgate juniors Chris Nordsiek, Matt Brown and Preston Burnes. Nordsiek, Brown and Burnes, who originally submitted the idea of the restaurant through a Career Services contest, have worked to bring their idea of Chilly Willy’s to reality for the past 14 months. The three decided that there was a major hole in the Hamilton market for Mexican food that could be captured by providing fast, healthy and quality Mexican food.”Mexican really is similar to Sushi in that it is the perfect blend of proteins, vegetables and carbohydrates – the ideal food – so it is tough to replace in a diet,” Burnes said. “I am from California, so I grew up on this stuff, and going without it was having a serious impact on my ability to function.”To implement their business plan, the threesome sought the help and advice of alumni in opening Chilly Willy’s. “We had to learn everything from scratch,” Burnes said. “It was difficult because of the hundreds of different issues that had to be addressed in a knowledgeable manner. We had a lot of advisors, people who believed in us, because most of the time we didn’t give ourselves the chance that we might actually open.”They also relied on Colgate alumni for financial support. “We had a major investor, a Colgate alumnus, and the four of us partnered in the project,” Burnes said.Through the work of Nordsiek, Brown, Burnes and Colgate alumni, Chilly Willy’s was able to open its doors and is serving the Colgate community with Mexican food. “Business has been great from day one. The community has really supported us the whole way and the support didn’t stop once we opened our doors,” Burnes said.Now open and fully operational, Chilly Willy’s can be found in the Palace Theater basement and is open from 5 p.m. to 12 a.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. on Wednesdays and Fridays, 12 noon to 2 a.m. on Saturdays and 12 noon to 12 midnight on Sundays.”We certainly welcome everyone to come down and eat,” Burnes said.