Resident dining centers City Eats and Bricks got a makeover this summer with renovations and updates welcoming students back for the new semester.
City Eats, now featuring more vegan and pescatarian dishes, will stay open until midnight and allow students to pack meals to go.
“Before I felt like student voices weren’t really heard, and now they’re really trying,” resident assistant Summer Smith said. “They’re really trying to listen more, incorporate more and really make this a campus that feels like it can be a home.”
The interior of the dining hall was also revamped to accomodate a more open floor plan, new murals, brighter lighting and updated menu options.
The glass wall that once separated the two seating areas is now open, and all food stations are against the walls rather than scattered throughout the room.
“It’s great that I don’t have to walk all the way around if I see my friend,” Smith said. “But also, when it’s really packed in there, the wall kind of separated that noise so you could hear yourself in a conversation.”
New food stations include the Blue Onion for made-to-order vegetarian and vegan foods, Fuse for stir fry and an ice cream machine.
The remodeling of the main dining room and Crossroads room in City Eats began this summer and was completed on Aug. 19, City Eats General Manager HeeBong Hyun wrote in an email.
Bricks, formerly the go-to late-night pizza spot for residents, now functions as a convenience store where students can get coffee and snacks. Colorful beanbags have replaced the tables, and the store will serve as an event and recreation space as the year goes on.
Hyun said no major renovations have been made to Bricks yet.
“Thus far the feedback has been very positive from the students and guests alike,” Hyun wrote. “We continue to find means to improve the surroundings and food choices to encourage community and wellbeing.”
Another change as of last spring, is that City Eats now provides boxes to take food to-go. Resident assistant Putri Khoiriyah said she suggested to-go boxes last year to accommodate Muslim residents who were fasting until sunset in observance of Ramadan.
City Eats was closed by the time students broke their fasts, and the only meal plan option was pizza from Bricks, which wasn’t nutritious enough to make up for a day of fasting, Khoiriyah said.
“I love the late-night option that they have until midnight,” resident assistant Summer Smith said. “Because last year it would close at 8 p.m. and people would get out of class so they couldn’t eat.”
Khoiriyah said the new accommodations have allowed her more flexibility within her busy schedule as a resident assistant, helping her save money by not having to rely on the Village Market for late-night meals. However, she said she would like to see halal and kosher options for residents who have religious or health restrictions.
“Those who have a lot of restrictions are the ones who have to [nitpick] about everything,” Khoiriyah said. “Not that they chose to be [picky], it just happens that City Eats does not cater as much to their needs.”
Hyun said construction of City Eats will continue in the coming semesters.