Finishing touches go up on dining services, food court

Morgan Haire

Workers put the final touches on the remodeled food court in the Clark Student Center on Aug. 12. Photo by Morgan Haire.
Workers put the final touches on the remodeled food court in the Clark Student Center on Aug. 12. Photo by Morgan Haire.

The Mesquite Dining Hall and Clark Student Center food court have a fresh new look. The dining services contract with Chartwells was finalized in early March and Chartwells officially began cooking for residents this summer.

“The cafeteria has become a place I actually want to eat at,” said Layton Rabb, undecided sophomore. “The food service has increased drastically in the short time I was gone between spring and Summer II. I look forward to eating there every day as well as getting some of that Chick-Fil-A.”

With the new company they are bringing new names to the food court that include Chick-Fil-A, Burrito Bowl and an updated Grill Nations.

“The name brands will be great for our students in the sense of familiarity,” said Angie Reay, associate director of housing and dining services. “We have a ton of students coming from the big metroplex areas, so they will be able to relate better with those big names.”

Construction has been going on all summer to transform the old food court and make room for the new dining options.

“They are starting to put the final touches here and there,” said Dail Neely, director of Clark Student Center. “All we’re doing now is waiting on furniture and for the contractors to do their final punch through. Fingers crossed they will have it finished by the time classes start.”

With a new name there have also been a few changes to the way they do things in the cafeteria. It is now self-serve which will be different for all the returners. There are also a few different meal plan options.

Reay said she’s excited to have the self-serve option back at MSU.

“When I first started here, Aramark did have the self serve option,” said Reay. “We think that this is helpful for the students in giving them the choice of what they want to eat and how much they want to eat. Everyone is different and doesn’t eat the same way, so with self-serve the students will be able to pick. I think the students will really like this option.”

The new dining contract also means a Starbucks in Moffett Library and an Einstein’s Bros Bagels in The Dillard College of Business, but those projects took a backseat to the remodeling of the food court.

“We’re hoping that the Einstein’s will be finished in September and the Starbucks sometime in October,” said Reay. “The Student Center was at the top of our list because it was a much bigger project than the other two.”