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Student Union reveals details about new Village eatery

By peposed

Section: News

October 1, 2007

Student Union officials released details regarding the upcoming eatery in the Village Quad, following preliminary meetings with Dining Services and the Administration. The eatery, according to Union Director of Research and Development Sridatta Mukherjee 09, will open in January 2008.

Its going to be a late-night dining option, said Mukherjee. She stated that the eatery, tentatively called The NightOwl, would be open for 5-6 hours a day. While she said that the projected hours would be either 8 or 9pm until 3am, she said that the name of the venue and finalized hours would be up to the demands of the students.

When asked to clarify if Aramark would have first priority on the eatery contract, Mukherjee said Im not sure about that, but Aramark is doing this for now.

Regarding workers in the eatery, she said it will be a combination of both [students and union workers]there will be a supervisor and two or three student workers.

Still, she said, its a late night option, so its uncertain how many students are going to want to stay up till, say, 2am. But its definitely going to be a combination of work.

Mukherjee said that one of the main constraints to any construction or composition of the eatery was the space. Were still talking about infrastructurewhat can we do with this place? The space is extremely limitedits about 900 square feetonce you put in a grill, and the seating, theres not much space left.

Furthermore, she said, because architects were not going to remove pipes from the space, it would further limit what could be altered. The size is very limited, so we dont want to get students hopes up that itll be another Boulevard.

When asked about potential menu options, Mukherjee stated that there would not be overlap with other late-night venues such as the Usdan Boulevard. Its definitely going to be a diner Aramark saidthey will look at menus at nearby diners, she said, but theres no point in having burgers till 2am when you can get them till midnight at the Boulevard. She also added that the menu would have pancakes, eggsthat kind of thing.

Mukherjee added that payment options would only accommodate points and WhoCash since we already have a huge timeframe to use meals, from 7am to 2am.

One of two concerns that were brought up by the Administration included the eaterys proximity to South Street. If students park and back out, its a blind spot, Mukherjee said. Thats something well work out with the administration.

Another concern Mukherjee mentioned was the fact that soundproofing had not been included in the Administrations budget. We could probably put in soundproofed glass, like Einsteins, but thats currently not in their budget. But Ive encouraged them to do whatever they can to minimize the sound.

Village Quad Senator Michael Kerns 09 said that I believe and hope that the late night caf that is coming to the Village will become a very positive and welcome thing. I think the Village needs and could benefit from some added culture and I think it would be great to have another place for students to socializeIm strongly in favor of it.

Regarding the potential noise for his constituents, Kerns said that as far as noise goes, the establishment is going to be a diner, not a coffeehouse at which bands will play, not something that is intended to be very loud [and] as Village senator, I have committed to do everything thats in my power to do anything to make certain that during construction Village residents are disturbed as little as possible.

Students reactions were mixed. Mac Magruder 09 said that I have more trouble trying to find food during the day on weekends, as opposed to the late-night hours.

Meanwhile, Village residents were concerned about noise from both construction and patrons. We purposefully lived here so we wouldnt have to deal with the construction, said C-Tower resident Michelle Olney 09. It would be bad if it wasnt soundproofed.

Village resident Phoebe Roberts '09 said that “being a person who doesn't like Sherman, I end up walking quite a ways to Usdan, so it might be good just purely for convenience reasons. But at the same time, we do live here, and we don't want large crowds of people congregating around where we live.”

Nearby resident Rachel Funk 08 had a succinct answer: They better find the budget for soundproofing, she said.

Cassie Seinuk 09, who also lives directly above where the proposed eatery would be, was also concerned about noise. The soundproofing part kind of bothers me. The other things are good because Im on points, and Im excited for it to open because I wont have to walk to Usdan, but industrial sounds will stink if theyre happening at 3am.

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