Restaurant center opens to mixed reviews

By Amanda Hunt

Arizona Daily Wildcat

The new restaurants in the Park Student Center have left some students with a bittersweet taste in their mouths.

The main grievances about the restaurants include high prices, poor selection and inconvenient hours of operation. Most students are satisfied with the food but were expecting something different.

It was announced in early December that the Student Union satellite, located on North Park Avenue, would take in private restaurants through the Philadelphia-based Aramark Corp.

The former Garden Court Restaurant opened this semester with Aramark's own conceptual restaurant. Along with it, the Sausage Deli, a local restaurant just north of campus at 2334 N. First Ave., opened its second location in the former Le Bistro cafe.

The new restaurant in place of the Garden Court includes six different selections: the Wokery, Tortillas, Grill Works, Allegro Pasta, World's Fare and Salad Garden.

Gary Summers, assistant director of food services, said the restaurant has not offered problems, only challenges. He said he has answered some concerns by extending the hours of operation from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday.

"The hours are terrible," said Justin Levitz, business freshman. He said he would like the restaurant to stay open to as late as midnight on the weekends because it is one of the few places near his residence hall that takes the All Aboard meal plan.

The restaurants in the Student Union have similar hours. During the week, The Fiddlee Fig is open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Louie's Lower Level is open 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Summers said they hope to open soon on the weekends but are lacking in staff.

On her first trip to the restaurant, Marlou Heiland, molecular and cellular biology senior, said "the coffee is better than before."

Jon Boucher, accounting freshman, had a different review of the restaurant.

"It sucks. There's no food," he said.

"Last week they said there'd be more food, but as of now (the amount) is minimal," Boucher said. "The food is good, but there's not enough."

"They told us Burger King; I see nothing. They told me Orange Julius; I see nothing. They're telling us Chick-Fil-A; I don't see that either," said Bram Slipakoff, psychology freshman.

Brian Guss, undeclared freshman, said although all of the food containers are disposable, there are no recycling bins as in other restaurants on campus.

Levitz said he is happy with the new Sausage Deli restaurant. But Slipakoff said the selection is limited, and Brian Wellner, a media arts freshman, said he thought prices were high.

"I think students expected (the former Garden Court) to look 100 percent different in 10 days," said Mike Low, Student Union interim director. "The restaurant will be different but it will take time to complete the transformation."

Summers said a frozen yogurt and Dreyer's station will be coming soon and the Chick-Fil-A restaurant should arrive sometime after March.

The new Pretzel Mania pretzel vendor, in the old Brown Bag Lunch location in the Student Union, is a private company that is selling its product to Student Union Dining Services, Low said. No eateries in the Union have been privatized, aside from Domino's Pizza.

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