Dining Services has big plans to refresh food options on the Hajim Science and Engineering Quad and at Wilson Commons—one that’s slated to open as early as Monday morning.
Peet’s Coffee will be opening at Wegmans Hall on Monday, Dining Services’ Director of Marketing and Strategic Growth David Feist announced at last Tuesday’s Dining Open Forum.
Also closing in May are Blimpie and Panda Express.
Peet’s Coffee—which will be open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. and will continue service throughout the summer—will fill the gap left by Pura Vida, which Feist announced is shuttering on May 3, the last day of classes.
“If you’re over in the science quad area, I highly recommend you walk through there, and starting Monday, you can grab some delicious Peet’s coffee, espresso, a lot of the same types of pastries and beverages you find at Pura Vida currently,” said Feist.
According to Feist, Dining Services has known that the Hajim Science and Engineering Quad is “severely underserved as far as food options,” and starting this fall, a location similar to Rochester’s Core Life Eatery will replace Pura Vida.
“We’ve known for a while that we have to put together a much more robust menu,” said Feist.
The yet-to-be-named location will offer customizable, fresh grain bowls, salads, noodle bowls, and bone broths, modeled after Chipotle’s flexible and “fairly quick, in-line type style,” explained Feist.
UR’s contract with Blimpie is ending, and the franchise will be discontinued, but the location will remain a sub and sandwich shop. It’ll have more flexibility and different options, Feist said, since Dining Services no longer must abide by rules set by a national chain.
The dissociation with Blimpie will allow Dining Services to sample local breads, high quality sandwich fillers, all for about the same price students currently pay for subs and sandwiches.
“A lot of us in the food industry service know that, and I’m sure our customers know, bread is what makes a great sandwich, as well as the meats and cheeses,” said Feist.
Students will also be able to have a say in what’s included on the menu.
“We’re going to be looking for a lot of feedback from students and our customers,” said Feist. “If there is something that you want and that you see at other sub shops around town, we’d be happy to mimic any type of thing that you’re looking for.”
Similarly, the space that is currently Panda Express will be turned into an Asian-fusion station—another separation from a national brand.
“Panda Express is very restrictive and very cost prohibitive,” said Feist.
The Asian fusion station will still serve student favorites like orange and sweet and sour chicken, but include more options for those with dietary restrictions.
Steamed vegetables, vegan and vegetarian stir fry dishes, potstickers, and lo mein dishes are among the new additions to the menu.
“Again, another area where we’re looking for student feedback to tell us, ‘Hey I saw this somewhere is it possible for you to incorporate it?,’ where as before it’d be a hard no, absolutely not our brand standards won’t allow that,” said Feist.
The last day of service for both locations will be May 10.