Students can utilize space


Daniel Cannon

Students wait in line at The Daily Grind, a new food and coffee stop that replaced Biddle Hall’s Jazzman’s this semester. The stop is in Blackington Hall’s first floor.

Rachel Logan, Copy Editor

The Mt. Cat Club is not to reopen this semester, nor any other, according to Sodexo General Manager Kevin Dicey. Other plans for snacking opportunities are underway in the meantime.

Last year, the Mt. Cat Club’s diner-style menu attracted students for pretzel-bun burgers and ice cream milkshakes Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights.

The largest rush, Dicey said, was much later than its 7 p.m. opening: many visited the mostly student-run Sodexo joint after midnight, when it offered unlimited mozzarella sticks, chicken fingers and fries for a meal swipe.

Some students took advantage of the deal, sending one student up for a large plate of appetizers to share around a group.

“If we were serving more customers in there,” Dicey said, “the conversation would be totally different.”

He said that the Mt. Cat Club space has great potential as a venue for positive and productive activities.

“The late-night crowd had different ideas for what they wanted to do,” he said.

“It just wasn’t generating enough revenue, enough support,” Dicey said.

Clubs and organization members are able to request the Mt. Cat Club for events. Dicey seemed enthusiastic about the prospect, and said Sodexo food would gladly be provided through the meal exchange program.

He agreed that the multiple TVs, different seating options and food readiness make the space a prime spot for a variety of club-sponsored events.

Student Activities and Engagement Director Heather Hall seemed enthusiastic to work with club and Programming Board members to make use of the Mt. Cat Club area. She said events ranging from slam poetry nights to football game viewings would do well in the space.

Dicey said that a late-night snacking venue is to be unveiled to replace the Mt. Cat Club.

“If it were up to me, it would be done by now,” he said, but logistics of the new opportunity are delaying its opening. He would not discuss details, but said he was excited.

“My hope is that it’ll be a big, big change on campus,” he said.

Dicey said the change should be complete by the start of next semester.

Until then, the Tuck Shop has extended its hours on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

Thursdays, the Grill is open until midnight. Fridays, Freshens is open until midnight and Subway is open until 2 a.m. Saturdays, Subway is open until 2 a.m. and the Grill is open until midnight.

Dicey said that the Tuck Shop’s extended hours are temporary and would revert when the other late-night snacking option opens.

A new food option opened this semester in Blackington Hall. The Daily Grind replaced Jazzman’s in Biddle Hall as a food stop away from the Student Union.

Dicey said the food components are the same at the two venues. Some items may not be available currently, if only because a new food cart to carry items from the Student Union to Blackington Hall did not arrive on campus when expected, he said.

The Daily Grind serves Starbucks products. Sodexo employees work the food stop, and it is not a Starbucks outlet. Dicey said that instead, Sodexo pays royalties according to a private contract.

Finance and Administration Vice President Amy Buxbaum said that, any time Sodexo hosts a brand on campus, such as Starbucks or Subway, Sodexo agrees to keep served products and preparation consistent with brand quality of freestanding stores. She said such financial agreements are confidential, but that they exist.

The Daily Grind is open until 5 p.m., later than Jazzman’s was, and Dicey said he is looking to extend hours further to accommodate those studying upstairs from the food stop. He said the Daily Grind serves a rush of students from 4 to 5 p.m.