After three months of preparation, the University of Connecticut’s Dining Services department is ready to unveil a new café at the UConn School of Law in Hartford, CT.
Hosmer Café will be open to students, faculty and staff this coming Monday, Sept. 12, 2016. It will replace the old Truffle’s Café in the same location on the ground floor of the Hosmer building, Dining Services executive director Dennis Pierce said.
Plans for Hosmer Café began when the law school asked Dining Services to operate a new café after the contract for Truffle’s ended in June. Pierce said that he and other department members spent an extensive amount of time over the summer cleaning and preparing the facility for the fall 2016 semester.
Although the café’s design remains the same, it comes with a couple of notable changes. During renovations to Chuck and Augie’s Restaurant, the department’s own restaurant located in the Student Union on the main Storrs campus, Dining Services took leftover chairs and tables and put them in Hosmer Café to provide a variety of seating options, Pierce said.
The café menu was also revamped to include healthier items using local meats and produce. The granola, for example, will be made in the bakery on campus.
Hosmer’s menu will vary “significantly” from Truffle’s and will include gluten-free and vegetarian options, Pierce said.
“(Truffle’s menu) was a very standard menu; very hamburger and hotdog, kind of a traditional café with not a lot of options,” Pierce said. “…We got a general opinion that healthier options are preferred.”
For the first time, the café will offer “power bowls,” which are a mixture of different ingredients thrown into a bowl that provide a quick nutritious meal. Rice, vegetable and bean and curry vegetable noodle bowls are two of the possible options.
Buffalo chicken wraps will also be available and will likely be a popular menu choice for a lot of customers, Pierce said.
“I think that’s going to be a hot item,” Pierce said.
Hosmer Café will operate Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and will serve breakfast and lunch. Aaron Cruz, a third-semester graduate student in the UConn Law program, said he was interested in the menu variety but wished the café stayed open later to accommodate students who work in the evenings.
“It was nice to have the breakfast option available, but the (Truffle’s) café would close well before dinner hours,” Cruz said. “This would be frustrating if you were staying late in the library and needed to grab a quick bite to eat.”
Campus cafés don’t usually get much business in the evening, which is the reason for its designated closing time. However, Dining Services is willing to listen to the opinions of students, faculty and staff to ensure meeting their needs, Pierce said.
In the meantime, Pierce said he is eager and excited to open the café doors to the public.
“We hope we’re ready to rock n’ roll on Monday,” Pierce said.
Austin Mirminia is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.