UR’s Dining Committee gave a sneak peek of upcoming renovations to the Frederick Douglass Building on Tuesday, Oct. 27, focusing on the major changes coming to Douglass Dining Center. The current plan is to close the building on May 1 and reopen it in late August or early September of 2016, with the tentative goal of completing renovations before the beginning of the 2016-2017 school year.

Director of Dining Services Cam Schauf explained in a separate interview, “[The Frederick Douglass Building] is the only facility that has not been renovated or built in the last ten years. So it’s the final piece in a ten-year-long renovation program.”

“In addition to that,” he said, “it gives us space on this side of campus that’s more modern, more functional, and space that we can control completely in ways that will allow us to play with different kinds of programming.”

The third and fourth floors of the Frederick Douglass Building will house the Paul Burgett Intercultural Center and the Language Center. On the second floor, where the dining center is currently located, the balcony will come down, creating a large, open space which can be sectioned into three rooms by using new moveable walls. Those rooms will be available to reserve 24/7.

The second floor will also house Grab n’ Go and its attached kitchen. During the presentation, Schauf said that the plan was for UR to eventually start making all of its Grab & Go offerings on its own, allowing Dining to respond more quickly to student demand.

The first floor of the building, which will no longer be accessible from the patio linking Douglass to Wilson Commons, will house the new dining center and a late-night retail location.

This retail location can be opened separately from the dining center, with a quarter window that directly accesses the station where the food will be prepared. While the retail location probably will not have a set menu until December, Schauf said that it will use grills and fryers to prepare some of its items.

There will be seats in the retail area for 60 people, as well as two attached rooms which can be opened up. The fireplace from the old bookstore will be incorporated into the space.

Douglass faces a major overhaul. In addition to moving down a floor, it will now feature a micro-restaurant style. Diners will be able to get a full meal at each station or, if they choose, will be able to mix and match portions from each station. The micro-restaurant solution will offer kosher, street, European, allergen-free and dessert food stations.

The kosher/comfort station will have kosher supervision during all hours of operation and will offer house meats, house pickling, fresh breads, roasted proteins, smoked meats, composed salads, soups and more. The street station is meant to have an international flair and will rotate between offerings like sushi, noodle bowls, banh mi and char siu; Korean BBQ and Korean hot pot; Indian food; South American food; and foods like poutine, pickled salads, fried macaroni and cheese and grilled cheese. At the European/exhibition pasta station, diners can get omelets for breakfast, and, later, can get foods like crepes, antipasto, salad, flatbread and pizza. The allergen-free zone will focus on healthy, local foods, and will offer items without milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, soy and wheat, as well as made-to-order items. Though the allergen-free and kosher zone will always offer their own dessert options, there will also be a desserts station offering a coffee shop style bakery, ice cream and a waffle bar.

Lai is a member of 

the class of 2018.

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