A new sushi bar has taken over the grab-n-go located on the first floor of the memorial union. Photo by Grace DeSanti
Dining Services has expanded the variety of Grab-n-Go combo meal options available for students to now include a sushi bar, a make your own salad bar and soon, a food truck.
The most prominent change that was made was the addition of a sushi bar in the lower level of the Memorial Union, which accepts combo meal swipes. The sushi bar is located where Ram Escape was formerly located. Additionally, the location of the sushi bar and the surrounding seating area and pool table has been renamed Union Square.
Pierre St-Germain, the director of dining services, said that the University was in discussion for several months about bringing a sushi vendor to campus.
“[We contracted] with a company that could come in to campus and provide an authentic but sort of nuanced version of what has become a very popular item for the American public, which is sushi,” St-Germain said. “Part of the reason why this company won the bid was because they also said they would be able to provide things like bubble tea, which is a thing I felt would be of appeal and attractive to the student body here.”
FujiSan Sushi is the vendor for the sushi bar. Students are allowed to work the service aspect of the sushi bar, such as working the cash register and filing drinks, according to St-Germain. However, St-Germain said that FujiSan Sushi employees are in charge of preparing all the sushi.
Another combo meal that was added includes the option for students to make their own salad in Rams Den, rather than buying a premade one. St-Germain said that any salad under one pound can count as a combo meal swipe.
“It’s a good size portion, St-Germain said. “You can put whatever you want in [the salad].”
St-Germain said one reason they added the salad bar as a combo option was so that students could have additional access to fresh products.
Student Senate Dining Liaison Ryan Menard was pleased that the University added more variety to the combo meal options available on campus.
“It is a welcomed change and I’m glad to see the combo [meal] options expand for students,” Menard said.
Additionally, Menard said he believes students will benefit from adding variety to the combo meal options offered.
“The previous options limited both on location and menu,” Menard said. “The increased options and the variety of the menu seems to be a great start and I think students will welcome these changes and will be excited about what the future of Dining Services has in store for the student body.”
In addition to offering different combo meal options, St-Germain said all retail outlets operated by Dining Services will now offer a variation of a combo meal. Now, the Corner Store, located in Hope Dining Commons, offers combo swipe meals as well.
The University is also in the final stages of bringing a school-owned food truck to campus, which will offer combo meal options. St-Germain said that although there is not a set date for the food truck to arrive on campus, he hopes it will be ready by the end of the month.
“I’m really hoping, fingers crossed, that we’ll have it on campus for the Alumni and Family Weekend,” St-Germain said.
Additionally, starting this semester, Butterfield Dining Hall will be open from 9-11 p.m. on Mondays through Thursdays. Butterfield’s late night hours are replacing the late night hours of the Astro’s portion of Mainfare Dining Hall, which was implemented last year. St-Germain said that Butterfield’s late night hours have been more successful than Astro’s was last semester.