A fresh option enlivens mealtime on South Campus
From College students and resident head families, to law professors and campus security, the University community south of the Midway has streamed into the new South Campus Dining Commons, 6025 S. Ellis Ave., since it opened to the public in late September.
"There really hasn't been this kind of dining experience available for the community here on South Campus," said Richard Mason, Director of Operations and Communications for Housing and Dining Services. "Because of the nature of how it is designed and how open it is, I think it will really draw people in."
The 550-seat South Campus Dining Commons, serving 1,200 College students of Burton-Judson Courts, Breckinridge Hall and the new South Campus Residence Hall, showcases the buzz of activity inside through its open, transparent design.
Previously the South Campus community, including the Law School, the Harris School of Public Policy Studies, and the School of Social Service Administration, relied mostly on grab-and-go meal options housed in individual buildings. But since the dining hall opened, it has quickly become an alternative choice for a sit-down breakfast, lunch or dinner for all of South Campus.
"It changes the energy on South Campus," said Michele Richardson, Dean of Students at the Law School. "It is a nice place to eat with a warm, homey atmosphere. We haven't had that down here."
"We can send visiting prospects over here instead of across campus," agreed Ann Perry, Dean of Admissions at the Law School, who was eating lunch with Richardson. "It is a nice, welcoming option."
Mason said the goal of this new dining hall was a focus on freshness, community and transparency.
"When you see the meal, the smells, the sights, that is all part of the dining experience," he said. "When you go into the retail dining world, it is very much open kitchens, tables at kitchens, inside kitchens. Those sorts of things are very much what our students, staff and diners want to experience."
Open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily, the South Campus Dining Commons offers a wide array of food, including Mediterranean cuisine, a salad bar, a grill and deli, and comfort foods, desserts, vegan dishes prepared at a separate cooking station, and a kosher station overseen by the Chicago Rabbinical Council.
The dining hall is all-you-can-eat for those not on a student meal plan. Breakfast is $5.99, lunch is $7.99 and dinner is $9.99.
For those desiring takeout, which is not an option at the dining hall, there is the South Campus Café and C-Store, accessible from Ellis Avenue in the lower level of South Campus Residence Hall. It is open from 7 a.m. to 3 a.m. and offers a barista-run café, fresh grab-and-go foods, fruit, bottled beverages, candy and convenience store items.
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