By Monica Wherrity
In the upcoming fall semester, many changes will be coming to KU’s dining services – starting with the Cub Café.
Chick-Fil-A has been announced to move from the Cub Café in the McFarland Student Union building to the Academic Forum, and in its place will be an all you can eat style buffet, similar to the upstairs of the South Dining Hall. Chick-Fil-A will be opening in the fall, and the Cub Café all-you-can-eat-style buffet is expected to start in January 2016.
The Cub Café renovation began in May. It will continue during the fall semester and open up in January 2016. The renovation is geared toward turning it over from being a retail location to an all-you-can-eat facility.
“I can’t wait to see what the new Cub Café will look like when it’s completed,” said KU junior Steven Michael.
“Students weren’t happy with the meal equivalence program so we needed to look at the meal program,” said Kent Dahlquist, KU’s director of housing, residence life and dining services. “Based on the direction we chose to go, we decided to do a new meal plan program called any time dining. There was need to create a second all-you-care-to-eat facility over on the academic side of campus.”
The Cub Café renovation, as well as the move of Chick-Fil-A, is the second of four phases of renovations happening on campus, the first one being the new Starbucks in the McFarland Student Union building. The third phase is the ground floor of the South Dining hall, which will be converted into the Golden Bear food court in the spring and summer of 2016. The final phase will be the second floor of the South Dining hall being renovated.
Chick-Fil-A is being relocated to the Academic Forum where the Grill now operates. The Academic Forum will be the only retail location. “Chick-Fil-A is the most popular retail location, we track usage and sales,” said Dahlquist.
Students have expressed an array of reactions to the changes.
“I’m mad that they are taking away in the Grill in the Academic Forum. I personally believe that they have better crispy chicken sandwiches than Chick-Fil-A,” said sophomore Breanna Lynn.
There is a reason for this master plan that came from a campus wide assessment. The university also had a consulting firm come in that did student and community interviews and their own assessment.
Based on the information from both of these, the university identified a number of things that needed to be addressed, such as seating and menu selection.
There will be a grill area, deli area and an international area which will have a rotating menu in the all- you-can-eat Cub Café. While the renovation is going on there will be food served outside the multipurpose room in the McFarland Student Union building for students.
The third phase of the master plan will be half formal type seating and half sofa lounge chair seating, pool tables, and gaming stations in the bottom of the South Dining Hall. The goal is to have students hang out and socialize. This will be a 24-7 location, which Kutztown is the first in the state to adopt.
“I think the 24-hour/anytime dining is a great idea and only wish they have done this sooner since I am a senior,” said 22-year-old Thomas Prodes.
All the meal plans that Kutztown offers will be going away starting fall 2016 when the Cub Café is renovated. Students will be able to purchase a basic meal plan, which is anytime dining that gives them access to the Cub Café all-you-care-to-eat and the South Dining Hall. Students will also be able to purchase Flex Dollars that come with guest meals that will be able to be used at the retail locations in the Academic Forum.