Café to get its name today


Alyssa Coleman

Students order from the new café Friday. The café’s name is to be announced later today.

Alyssa Coleman, News Editor

The Student Union was left with an empty space after the Brioche Dorée, a French restaurant chain, closed all of its U.S. stores last spring.

However, Sodexo General Manager Jim Butler assured students in the spring that a new restaurant would be put in its place.

This academic year a new, unnamed café, run by Sodexo managers, has opened in the empty space.

It is to be open weekdays from 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m and then again from 8 p.m. to midnight. Weekend hours are from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and then 8 p.m. to 1 a.m.

Butler said a café was put in the Brioche’s place because of student feedback.

“We looked at student feedback from kiosks on campus, as well as conversations with students who had an interest in a late-night variety,” he said.

Dining Services Director Bob Knipple said the new café offers a variety of food options which include wraps, salads and soups.

Knipple said that all-day breakfast was incorporated to the café due to feedback.

“We tested some menu items over the summer with several students and employees, and their feedback helped to refine some of the ingredients as well as the overall menu options,” he said.

“Things are going very well with the new café. The folks at Sodexo worked so hard all summer developing the concept.

“Feedback has been very positive and the students are using (the café) heavily,” Knipple said. “We were very excited about the launch.”

Juniors Kaitlyn Allison and Courtney Claycomb said they think the new café was a good idea, but they would like to see more options introduced to the menu.

“I like the idea of a café being put in here,” Claycomb said. “I didn’t want any fast-food restaurants, so this is a nice option.”

Allison, however, seems to want other fresh  options that college students can enjoy.

“They were in the right frame of mind when they decided to open a café,“ Allison said. “Although I would have liked a little diner or even a pizza option because college students enjoy having pizza. 

“The only place to get some pizza is in the cafeteria, and even then, the pizza isn’t really fresh,” she said. “It just sits there until it’s all gone before another one is made.”

Students are allowed to use their meal swipes for breakfast and lunch at the new café. 

However, Claycomb and Allison both said they are a little disappointed in the options.

“For lunch it’s good,” Allison said. “You get a sandwich or a salad and a side, but breakfast has limited options available.

“You also only get 4 ounces of a drink with your meal and you have to pay extra for anything bigger.”

According to Knipple, the café’s name is to be announced later today.

“We solicited name suggestions during Orientation Leader and Resident Assistant training and at the activities fair,” Knipple said.  

Knipple said students can stop by the café from 10:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. and vote on the top five name suggestions, as well as enjoy free samples of café items.

The five final names to be voted on are The Den, Mountain Cat Café, The Pitt Stop, PJ’s Café and PJ’s Pitt Stop.

Knipple said the votes are to be counted at 1:30 and the name will be announced at 2.