New restaurant, renovated dining halls provide refreshed spaces to enjoy meals

August 21, 2017 | News, UToday
By Meghan Cunningham

The addition of another national restaurant chain and complete renovations of the on-campus dining halls will provide a more engaging dining experience this year at The University of Toledo.

Chick-fil-A is open in the lower level of the Thompson Student Union across from Steak ’n Shake, which served its first burgers and milkshakes on campus in April.

Gary Casteel, district manager for UT’s dining operation, talked about the new allergy-friendly station in Ottawa House East.

The upgraded dining hall in Ottawa House East opens Monday, Aug. 21, and the refreshed South Dining Hall in the Thompson Student Union will open Monday, Aug. 28.

“Our students have requested national restaurant chains, and we are happy to be able to provide new options to campus,” said Bonnie Murphy, associate vice president for auxiliaries. “This summer we also renovated the dining halls to provide a more engaging user experience where our students, as well as faculty, staff and community members, can enjoy their meals in a relaxed atmosphere with their classmates and colleagues.”

Both all-you-care-to-eat dining halls will continue to have a variety of options in addition to the grill, pizza, salad, soup and bakery stations. The popular cereal bars also received an upgrade with waffles and made-to-order omelets also available for breakfast.

UT is planning a Delicious Destinations series throughout the year where pop-up type venues offer foods from different cultures around the world, in addition to regular theme nights connected to holidays and campus events.

The dining hall in Ottawa East also features a fire oven for pizza, calzones and toasted sandwiches, and a new allergy-friendly station where the food is prepared without milk, eggs, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat and soybean.

“We wanted to upgrade from the traditional cafeteria line format and provide our guests with a more open space to easily move among the different stations to take advantage of the many different and delicious offerings during breakfast, lunch and dinner,” said Gary Casteel, district manager for UT’s dining operation.

Guests can enjoy meals at the dining halls using meal plans, as well as for a flat rate of $7 for breakfast, $8 for lunch or $9 for dinner paid with cash, credit or Rocket dollars.

Regular weekday hours for the dining halls throughout the academic year are 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. for Ottawa East and 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. for South Dining, which closes after lunch Fridays for the weekends. Ottawa East is open 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on the weekends.

The Chick-fil-A Express, which offers a select menu of the restaurant’s chicken nuggets, sandwiches, waffle fries and salads, is currently open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and hours will be extended until 7 p.m. after the academic year begins next week.

In addition to Chick-fil-A and Steak ’n Shake, Freshens restaurant opened last year on the engineering campus.

Phoenicia Cuisine also will provide a new experience to guests in a new location in the Thompson Student Union. Phoenicia is moving up one floor to the former location of Rocky’s Attic, where it will offer students a casual lounge space for snacking and visiting in addition to a restaurant area with booths and high-top tables to share meals. Renovations are ongoing with plans to open in the new location during fall semester.

Also new this year is Carter Market available in Carter Hall, which is open this year for students while renovations are made to Parks Tower. The market is a convenience store with grab-and-go food options.

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