New dining center coming to Western's campus

Contact: Judy Gipper, R.D.

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—A contemporary new dining center at Western Michigan University will open on the third floor of the new Student Center when that project is completed.

The 510-seat multi-venue new dining center has full-length windows adjacent to seating, so viewing campus activity and outdoor scenery will enhance the dining experience. As an alternative to a view of the outdoors, there is seating that looks down on the Heart which will provide the opportunity to view the activity in the Student Center. There is a wide range of seating styles: community tables, booths and a large range of table and chair combinations, perfect for group seating to individual seating options.

The vision for the new dining center is to provide fresh and healthy distinctive cuisines, with food presentation that excites all the senses. Appetites will be stimulated as guests view the preparation of food and make their desired selections. The new Student Center Dining will include student favorites, such as a salad bar and fruit station, a home-style venue, grill, desserts and a pizza station. New menu options and venues will complement the dining experience that students currently enjoy at Valley Dining Center. Carryout will be available at DASH, a grab’n go location directly next to the entrance to the dining center.

While the Valley Dining Center features My Pantry to serve students with dietary accommodations, Student Center Dining takes a different approach to meet these needs. Moving from a concept of accommodations to amenities, Student Center Dining offers a self-serve gluten-free pantry, called Handpicked, and simply prepared hot food options at Simply. Identification of the major food allergens in food selections, in addition to nutritional information, will continue to be provided with the online Dining Service menu.

The new dining center is expected to be a popular destination and inclusive community space. Student input guided priorities in design, cuisine, services and the interior spaces. Students clearly desire a space where they can be comfortable to spend time and find a variety of choices to nourish their bodies and souls.

With the opening of Student Center Dining, Henry Grab’n Go and the Bernhard Café and Market will close at the end of the spring semester. Dining services will be available at the Valley Dining Center, which will be open during the summer sessions. Details on serving hours and exact dates of the transitions will be communicated on the Dining Service website.

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