SF State seeking student input on selecting new campus restaurant

SFSU Cesar Chavez
Once filled by Jessie’s Hot House, a popular campus eatery, the restaurant on the west end of the Cesar Chavez student building is vacant space with paper blocking the windows. Photo by Gil Riego.

Sheets of white paper have been plastered in the windows of the vacant space between Carmelita’s La Petite and the Bookstore since summer 2011, but now the search for what type of food establishment will fill the void left by the former tenant, Jessie’s Hot House, is underway.

According to Travis Northup, chairman of the Student Center Governing Board, while the board gathers more data about what type of food current SF State students are looking for, the process of actually filling the space has been placed on hold.

“All of the data we have is outdated,” Northup said. “Right now we are going through the process to get the type of food that is what students want.”

The board is currently conducting surveys through OrgSync and the student center’s annual survey to ensure students have a voice before making a final decision on the type of food establishment that will fill the space.

According to Northup, the largest and only push to the vendor services committee has been for another soul food restaurant. Liberal arts major Tachelle Herron, 31, has been working on a petition for a new soul food restaurant since November 2011, after she heard from several freshman that it was no longer available on campus.

“When you’re on campus all day, you get hungry,” Herron said. “And you need something that’s going to keep you full.”

The Black Student Union, along with several other student organizations including La Raza Student Organization, Students for Quality Education, Leadership Engagement Action Development, Educational Opportunity Program, Educational Opportunity Program Student Organization, Fashion Institution and Gator Gospel Choir, have been compiling a petition that has a little more than 200 signatures in favor of another soul food restaurant, according to Herron.

According to the student center’s Retail Commercial Services Manager Leonard Corpus, the student governing board should make the decision on what type of food vendor will occupy the space during their meeting in March where they will take the petition into consideration. He hopes to have a new vendor in place by Fall 2012.