On the Inside: Top Sellers at Mason

Posted: April 21, 2011 at 1:03 am, Last Updated: April 21, 2011 at 7:13 pm

By Aisha Jamil

Ever wondered what are the hottest shows at the Patriot Center? Or what is the most popular drink all your friends are buying at Starbucks? Well, we wondered too, so here is a rundown of what’s hot at Mason.

Mason Dining

According to William Fry, director of retail operations for Mason Dining, the most popular drink at Starbucks is a Grande Caramel Macchiato, and the most popular food item is the Lemon Loaf.

At Jazzman’s Café & Bakery, a tall coffee and a chocolate chip cookie are by far the most popular items. The 2-percent white chocolate mocha is also a big hit.

When students and faculty and staff members enter Southside, the most popular dining facility on the Fairfax Campus, the majority head straight for the chicken tenders when they are on the menu and follow it with their favorite dessert – ice cream.

The top sellers at the Rathskeller are chicken tenders, along with Mason’s favorite beer – Yuengling.

At the Pilot House, slices of cheese pizza and chicken wings sell the most, while at the Johnson Center food court, Sub Connection’s turkey sub and spicy sushi rolls are extremely favored. As for the most-liked smoothie at Freshens, it’s #17 Peanut Butter Protein.

Surprised? Well, Fry is.

“The biggest surprise to me is not the item choices but just how consistent these top choices are throughout the school year. The top-selling items the first week of school will stay the top-selling items during the last week of school,” he says.

Hylton Performing Arts Center

At the new Hylton Performing Arts Center on the Prince William Campus, one of the top-selling shows that lit up the stage last fall was Danú with “Christmas in Ireland: An Nollaig In Éirinn.”

“We are finding that the Hylton Center audiences are gravitating towards Celtic music performances regardless of whether the audience members are Irish or not,” says Jill Laiacona, public and media relations coordinator for the College of Visual and Performing Arts. “We try to offer a unique and diverse selection of holiday performances, and this performance was joyous, energetic and heart-warming.”

Other popular shows at the Hylton included The Capitol Steps, a musical comedy troupe that performs all over the country, and the most recent performance that sold a large number of seats was the Metropolitan Jazz Orchestra performing “Simply Sinatra.”

“Sinatra’s music is timeless, and music enthusiasts of any age group enjoy it, especially when it’s performed by such a seasoned interpreter of classic pop music as Steve Lippia,” Laiacona says.

Center for the Arts

At the Center for the Arts, the Merchants of Bollywood sold so many tickets that a second show was added the following week. Both shows were packed.

“There have been a lot of depictions of Indian culture in Western popular culture recently, from television sitcoms to films such as “Slumdog Millionaire,” and I think that the ticket sales were reflective of the audience’s interest and curiosity about Indian culture,” Laiacona says.

This spring, the Russian National Ballet Theatre performance of “Swan Lake” sold out.


Mason’s Barnes and Noble’s bookstore has always been a hotspot for textbooks, Mason gear and other reading material.

So what are the top-selling books patrons have purchased recently?

  • “A Visit from the Goon Squad” by Jennifer Egan
  • “The Help” by Kathryn Stockett
  • “Water for Elephants” by Sara Gruen
  • “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” by Stieg Larsson

According to Barb Headly, general manager of the bookstore, open-bottom pants, NCAA championship tees, Mason water bottles and fashion tote bags are the most popular Mason gear to sell at the bookstore.

Popular non-Mason gear includes rain boots, light-weight spring scarves and reusable water bottles.

Patriot Computers

Located next to the bookstore in the Johnson Center, Patriot Computers is famous for carrying Skull Candy headphones, which include a lifetime warranty.

The store’s hottest item by far is the iPad 2, released three weeks ago, which currently has a wait list.

The Live Scribe Echo Pen, an interactive digital voice recorder, also catches the eye of many students.

“As you handwrite your notes in class, the pen records the lecture,” explains Angela Davenport, operations supervisor of Patriot Computers. “So when you go back later on and click on your notes, you can hear what was being said at the time.”

Patriot Computers will be giving away Skull Candy headphones at its Technology Expo on Thursday, Apr. 21, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the North Plaza. Other giveaways include iPods, HP printers, JamBox speakers and an iPad 2 grand prize.

Patriot Center

We all know that all the shows are hot at the Patriot Center, but last fall’s hottest show was the Gorillaz, a “virtual band” that performs internationally.

This year, tickets for Ke$ha (Aug. 21) seem to be selling very well, according to Barry Geisler, general manager of the Patriot Center.

The currently running Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus is also another popular show that attracts crowds from all over the area. More than 60,000 people attend the circus over a two-week period.

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