3 years ago
Miguel Perez
Editor-in-Chief

Pancakes past midnight, a convenience store and more vegetarian offerings are only some of the new food choices students can look forward to in 2014 and 2015.

Early morning commuters looking for a cup of joe and a quick bite next semester can look to the new parking garage opening this fall.


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The new structure, located on the corner of Loop Road and Rutford Road across from Res Hall South, will house an Einstein Bros. Bagel shop.

Bob Fishbein, assistant vice president of auxiliary service, said it will have a 45-seat capacity with catering abilities, but it will mostly be a grab-and-go service.

There are also plans to place an IHOP restaurant on the southwest side of the parking structure, facing Rutford Road.

The contract is still in negotiation and no concrete date of arrival has been approved, but students can expect the restaurant to hit campus in late February or early March, Fishbein said.

The planned pancake venue will seat about 160 people, and it will have a similar structure as the Pub where customers order and take a number. The restaurant will be open until 1 a.m.

The largest addition to dining services on campus will be Dining Hall West, located adjacent to Residence Hall West, and slated to open in the beginning of the fall semester.

“It’s like our existing dining hall on steroids,” Fishbein said.  “It’s gorgeous and it has a lot more opportunities to do custom food.”

With a 720-seat capacity, the new dining hall will be open to all students, faculty and staff.

The existing dining hall will still offer meal plan lunches as they exist currently, but it will offer more retail choices down the line, Fishbein said.

Lunch and meal plan opportunities will be available in both dining hall locations, but breakfast and dinner will only be available in Dining Hall West.

Papa John’s Pizza and a convenience store will be located adjacent to the new dining hall. They will act as late-night options for students as both will stay open until 1 a.m.

Relocated from its original location in the Comet Café, the new Papa John’s will have increased capacity, offering full-size pizzas as well as the smaller, individual sizes.

Carrie Chutes, assistant director of food and retail services, said the pizza franchise hopes to offer call-ahead service for on-campus locations, but it has not been determined if the venue will be able to deliver to dorms when it opens in the fall.

The convenience store will stock healthy snacks, vegan selections, frozen food items and basic toiletries.

Auxiliary services will be making changes to food options in the Student Union as well.

The Comet Café, which used to house the smaller Papa John’s quick service station and the Chef’s Table station, will now feature the new Create station starting in the fall.

Create will primarily serve salads with a variety of protein options, as well as a baked potato bar and a selection of soups.

“One of the things that student government has been very vocal about is making sure we have more vegetarian options on campus,” Fishbein said. “We hear them loud and clear.”

Gauging student opinion through polling and questionnaires, SG determined that students would like to see more international and vegetarian options, confirmed Zach Stokes, SG senator and electrical engineering senior.

“The idea we pitched was a pita bar,” Stokes said.  “The reason behind this was we wanted to provide more vegetarian options to account for our international students who happen to be vegetarian for cultural, religious or personal reasons.”

SG will submit an official proposal within the next month to add a pita bar to the Create station in the Comet Café, Stokes confirmed.

Additionally, Fishbein said both dining halls will offer pita and related dishes like hummus and tabbouleh.

The Outtakes Grab n’ Go area will enhance its vegetarian options, as well as adopt new color coded packaging to differentiate vegetarian and gluten-free choices.