University temporarily closes dining commons serving south campus

The University of Chicago on Thursday temporarily closed the dining commons serving the south part of campus, to ensure a comprehensive response to findings of a city inspection.

Students and other members of the University community who use the affected Arley D. Cathey Dining Commons are advised to take advantage of the Bartlett or Pierce dining commons for the duration of the closure, which is expected to last at least through Monday. Students who rely on the closed dining commons also will receive additional Maroon Dollars for their meal plans, which can be used at Hutchinson Commons and other locations that are part of the UChicago Dining system.


The University closed the Cathey Dining Commons on Thursday, Nov. 29, after an inspection by the Chicago Department of Public Health found a repeat violation involving fruit flies in the dining and food preparation areas. A prior inspection on Nov. 20 had found fruit flies as well, and dining vendor Aramark responded with multiple visits by a pest control service.

After Thursday’s inspection, city officials informed the University that food could not be prepared in the affected dining facility until it passes a new inspection. The University elected to close the commons entirely so that Aramark and its contractors can perform more extensive fumigation and cleaning of the dining commons. The University anticipates that a new city inspection will occur early next week.

“The University agrees with the city’s conclusion that these conditions are unacceptable,” said Richard Mason, director of UChicago Dining. “We are working urgently with our dining vendor to remedy this situation. University leaders are committed at the highest levels to ensuring that all of our dining facilities go beyond what is required, to meet the high standards of the University and of our students.”