It may come as a surprise for The Blue Cow ice cream lovers to know that the UConn Student Union hot spot is undergoing an aesthetic renovation.
The Blue Cow, located next to Chuck & Augie’s Restaurant, is an extension of the UConn Dairy Bar (located on Horsebarn Hill Road) and features all Dairy Bar products. Separately from the Dairy Bar, the Blue Cow has also served frozen yogurt since 2012.
For the past week or so, the shop, best recognized by its blue cartoon cow logo, is seen stripped of its logo, has freshly painted white walls and has temporary paper “Dairy Bar” menu signs taped on the walls.
In light of the white walls and paper signs, Dining Services cafe and Dairy Bar area manager Ethan Haggerty said, “I can see why students might think that it’s (closing) because of the way it looks.”
But the ice cream shop – set to be renamed “UConn Dairy Bar Too” – is not shutting down in any way; it’s simply getting a makeover, Haggerty said.
The new logo and the design for the menu signs are currently being worked on by STET Communications and are incomplete. It is likely that some kind of branding will adorn the now-white walls, and the temporary paper signs will be replaced by nicer permanent signs once Communications approves the design. Costs for the project are also not yet finalized, dining services assistant director of retail operations Chuck Couture said.
The call for change came from the university, under the idea that the Blue Cow brand no longer fit into the UConn theme and should align more closely to the Dairy Bar, Haggerty said.
“If you were on a tour group in the summer, you were visiting with your parents, seeing if you wanted to come to the university, or you were doing orientation, you’d walk by and you would never connect the Blue Cow with the Dairy Bar, despite the fact that there were some signs that said ‘proudly serving (Dairy Bar ice cream),’” Haggerty said.
But students, like sixth-semester BME major Thomas Cotton, don’t seem to see the appeal for the decision.
“I think it’s a bit unnecessary and I think the university really should have better things to do than spend time and money on rebranding its ice cream stalls,” Cotton said.
Cotton said he’s “a big fan of Dairy Bar ice cream” and frequents the Blue Cow once a week because of its convenient location, but wishes the shop would offer more flavors
The shop’s logo and signs will change, and the menu will expand to serve more items (the current menu doesn’t serve as many products as the Dairy Bar). Prices, portions, employee uniforms and products will all remain the same. A decision will also be made about whether or not to move the frozen yogurt machine, as it doesn’t get as much business since the fro-yo fad tapered off, Haggerty said.
“When the Blue Cow is fully operational again, it will have a similar look and feel as the Dairy Bar,” university spokesperson Stephanie Reitz said.
The Blue Cow’s matching university-owned ice cream truck, just one semester old, is currently being winterized and will return to service after Spring Break. With the shop in the Union receiving an upgrade, that truck will also need to be re-wrapped in new branding. The renovations for the shop in the Union and the truck are set to be completed by the time students return from Spring Break. There’s no telling what the cost of the truck’s re-wrapping will be just yet, Couture said.
“Before we had (all ice cream services) doing things a little bit differently – but it’s all the same product, so everything now is the same across, whether you get ice cream at the La Petit Marche Café, the Dairy Bar, or the truck, it’s all the same,” Couture said.
Molly Stadnicki is a senior staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.