Hollywood stars do it, websites do it, so why not the Coffee House?
By students’ choice, the ASUCD Coffee House will be shutting down for a face-lift at the end of spring quarter.
ASUCD passed a referendum in 2004 to support this renovation project with the intention of increasing seating, making lines more efficient and making the Coho more cohesive for students.
“The Coffee House is so popular that the students really felt the need to make it even bigger to accommodate all the customers that we have,” said Sharon Coulson, the Coffee House food service director.
Mark R. Champagne, the ASUCD business manager, said the renovation project will cost an estimated $8 million. The funds are provided by the additional $8 per quarter that students pay as part of their registration fees.
The renovation project will take approximately nine to 12 months to complete, Champagne said.
Coulson said she is excited about the new look and the whole design in general.
“The layout I think is number one,” Coulson said. “I think it’s really going to help us manage [the Coho] better.”
The food services will all be located in one area so that the food options are easily viewable and accessible. For example, you won’t have to run through the bakery to get to the salad bar, she said.
The renovated Coho will offer some new choices such as sushi and smoothies, along with Coho classics like salads, Tex-Mex, pizza, pasta, coffee, tea, baked goods, hot foods and more, Coulson said. Instead of self-serve salad bar, the new Coho will sell pre-made salads.
The Coho will incorporate electronic menu boards that are easily changeable and easier for customers to read, Coulson said. Currently, menu boards are custom-made for the Coho, so any changes can be a bit of a hassle, she said.
The Coho is completely student run, except for a few managers. It’s the student staff that cooks everything from scratch and makes the Coho what it is, Coulson said.
So that students don’t completely lose the Coho as a dining option during the yearlong renovation, an interim-dining plan will take effect once construction begins, Coulson said.
“We want to remain as vibrant as possible,” Coulson said. “But of course, our customers are going to have many options to go to, and we hope people will find us as well.”
During construction, the Coho plans on providing limited food options in different areas of the MU, Coulson said. Meeting rooms will be turned into temporary kitchens, from which they can serve cold foods such as salads and sandwiches, she said.
In response to the temporary closing of the Coho, Richard L. Kossak, the director of retail operations at the Silo, said the Silo is preparing to handle any increase in business.
“During the fall, we’ll have to reconfigure how we’re going to do our lines and see if there are any other concepts that we can take into consideration,” Kossak said. “We’re going to do whatever we can – we want everybody to stay happy.”
The Coho will try to cater to their customer’s needs as best as they can during construction, Coulson said.
“We serve over 7,000 people a day. We will try to keep as many customers as we can, but the Coffee House is more than just the food that we serve – it’s a social hub and I don’t know where [else] our customers are going to get that,” Coulson said.
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