Although incoming freshmen will never have the dining experience that was the COG, there are several dining facilities and options on campus new this fall that will surely fill its stead.
The new Marketplace in the Boone Avenue Retail Center (BARC) located on Hamilton Street and Desmet Avenue is the newest and most innovative dining experience on campus. Cheryl Kaine, marketing manager of Zag Dining by Sodexo, called this new facility an “amazing refreshment” to Zag Dining.
GU was left temporarily without a main dining cafeteria after the COG was closed and demolished at the end of spring semester. However, that was soon remedied when the BARC opened its doors on June 17 to serve students and participants in the various summer camps held at GU during the summer term.
Kaine described this opening transition as a “joy settling into the new dining hall with the summer camps.” The schedule of summer camps allowed the Zag Dining staff to settle in and put its new digs to the test. The dining hall seats about 600 students, which is 10 percent more than the COG sat, and boasts a more efficient layout than its predecessor.
“Seating increased somewhat, but the overall flow is much better,” said Kaine.
The BARC is also equipped with two sets of restrooms on either side of the cafeteria. The food stations are structured similarly to those of the COG, with one exception: a new station called “Simple Servings” will serve food catering to many allergen groups and seek to provide light, healthy meals. “Simple Servings” will be free of gluten, wheat, soy, shellfish, peanuts, tree nuts, eggs and milk. This station will be available for lunch and dinner at the BARC.
A brand new Zag Shop also neighbors the BARC, although the two facilities are not connected.
Apart from the BARC, there have been several significant dining changes elsewhere on campus.
The destruction of the COG also was the end of Spike’s, which was housed in the lower level of the building. However, there will be no new spot for this late-night weekend hotspot. Although Spike’s is permanently gone from campus, Sub Connection has been relocated to the basement of Welch Hall, where Campus Security was located. In this new spot, Sub Co will approximately double its previous space and an additional make-line to improve the quality service.
Also on the attrition list is the Cataldo Hall coffee stop, Jazzman’s Café. Jazzman’s will be replaced by Einstein Bros Bagels. According to Kaine, Einstein Bros will be a late-night hole staying open until 2 a.m. weekends.
Tilford’s Café has been renamed Margie’s Café, a decision Kaine said was an “emotional experience with powerful effects.” Zag Dining is honoring former employee Margie Card, who died June 3due tocomplications from pneumonia. Margie brought great customer service, advice and joy to members of the GU community. While Card’s passing left a deep void in the GU community, Kaine sad she hopes that this name change will capture her “amazing spirit of service in hopes that [Card’s] spirit lives on.”
After its well-received introduction to campus as a substitute dining service, the Zaggin’ Wagon will continue to be found at various locations on campus.
With so many new food options on campus, in addition to the varied familiar options, like Iggy’s Pizza and Crosby Cafe, it will be hard for incoming freshmen to avoid the freshman 15.