New look and menu coming to Dickinson Hall Café
Dickinson Hall Café prior to renovations and refresh. (Photo by Dan Landau)
By Kenna Caprio
On the menu: a makeover for the Dickinson Hall Café. It’s the latest Fairleigh Dickinson University eatery to receive renovations, following changes to Nathan’s/Leafs and Grains at the College at Florham and Jeepers/Riverside Café at the Metropolitan Campus.
The new décor will match the recently renovated Office of Undergraduate Admissions, located on the third floor of Dickinson Hall. “Floors are down and the walls painted,” reports Bob Valenti, assistant vice-president for administration. The cabinets are being custom-made and will be installed in the first floor café shortly. “We’re trying to give it a modern collegiate and academic look,” continues Valenti, who took into consideration the café’s proximity to the undergraduate admissions welcome desk.
Soft seating in the middle of the room, surrounded by tables and chairs, will complement the new counter and high bar stools along the café windows.
“The whole idea is to enhance the customer experience,” says Valenti.
Gone will be the salad bar, but an “open air merchandiser” — similar to cases at Starbucks stores — will feature an assortment of premade salads, sandwiches and more. And, in the fashion of the Riverside Café at Jeepers, the Dickinson Hall Café will also serve Starbucks drinks.
The menu is “evolving,” says Valenti. But Gourmet Dining — the University’s food service provider — will continue the daily soup/sandwich specials, while adding a greater variety meal options for students who stay late in the building for class. “Some students have told us that they are here all day and don’t have a chance to walk back to the Student Union Building to eat,” Valenti adds.
Café hours will align with Dickinson Hall building hours, though after a certain time, customers may only be able to buy premade items.
This is the first time in 19 years, says Valenti, that any major renovations will be completed on the café.
Customers can use cash, flex dollars or Fairleigh 1Card cash at the café once it reopens in February 2014.
Coming soon: Valenti will target Snax, an eatery located in the basement of Hennessy Hall across from the Office of Enrollment Services, for upgrades.