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Dining services renovates, offers new, improved food

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Posted: Tuesday, June 26, 2012 7:30 pm

Students with a sweet tooth might be appreciative of Dining Services’ current renovations for the fall semester.

Some students were aware that the Falcon’s Nest would be receiving a major renovation this summer, but may be surprised to hear what University Dining Services has planned for The Oaks’ Outtakes store.

Mike Paulus, Director of Dining Services, said The Oaks’ Outtakes will be retooled into a campus Sweet Shoppe offering items such as flavored popcorn, bulk candies, homemade fudge and scooped ice cream.

“I think that’s the best idea, what student wouldn’t want that on campus?” said Briawna Gillespie, a sophomore and campus tour guide.

Victoria Scott, also a sophomore, said she isn’t a big fan of sweets and doesn’t really see herself spending time at the campus Sweet Shoppe.

As a student on campus, Gillespie said she loved the idea of a campus Sweet Shoppe, but also looks at it from a tour guide’s perspective with worry.

Gillespie said she hoped parents will not be turned off by having a Sweet Shoppe on campus because they are always worried about their child having enough healthy options on campus and are sometimes concerned when they see Dunkin’ Donuts.

Students can find alternatives to sweet snacks at any Outtakes store.

Dining Services will be relocating and enlarging Founder’s Outtakes store so students don’t need to worry about losing easy access to an Outtakes and healthy alternatives, Paulus said.

Dining Services has also been busy completing the Falcon’s Nest project, which will boast several new food places providing more variety of options for students, he said.

Brands that have been available previously, such as Jamba Juice, Steak Escape and Mondo’s Subs, will still be available, as will Au Bon Pain Soups and Wild Greens, Paulus said.

Dining Services is also adding Olo Sushi, Chickendippity, Marco’s Pizza and Panda Express within the Falcon’s Nest to give students varied food options, Paulus said.

“I’m glad they are expanding it, there wasn’t much variety before,” Gillespie said. “There’s benefits both ways for me as a student and for giving tours.”

She said she sees herself eating at the Falcon’s Nest most frequently next year because of Panda Express’ orange chicken. She said it will be easy to show parents and prospective students that there are many options available and variety on the University’s meal plan.

Scott said she agreed Panda Express will be her favorite place to eat next year.

“I’m excited to enjoy Asian food on meal plan rather than spend my money ordering take-out from King Buffet,” Scott said. “Panda Express is the bees’ knees!”

Another renovation currently underway is the Black Swamp Pub. Not only will the pub be receiving a facelift, but it will also become a bistro.

Dining Services will be combining the Black Swamp Pub and the Greenery in order to create the Black Swamp Pub and Bistro, which will also include a new full-service kitchen, Paulus said.

“Historically the pub had no kitchen, only a warming area to facilitate production from our main kitchen,” Paulus said. “[This] led to long waits for menu items.”

“By combining service and creating a dedicated kitchen, our goal is to enhance the pub menu with favorites from both restaurants for a full-service restaurant to serve or students and campus guests,” Paulus said.

Scott said he is excited they will be combining the two because the Greenery food will be available throughout the day, and said she will no longer have to catch the Greenery open at a certain time just to enjoy a well-cooked meal.

Gillespie is looking forward to seeing how the Black Swamp Pub and Bistro will look when completed and thinks these renovations will be a great selling point when giving campus tours.

“The standards of our campus are higher, it will help make everything look better to prospective students,” Gillespie said.

Dining services’ renovations are on schedule and should be ready for fall semester.

Paulus said the Nest renovations should be completed by Aug. 8 and then dining services will begin to stock merchandise and train employees for the new brands before the restaurants open officially.

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