Discussions are in the works to replace the French-inspired options at the University of Connecticut’s Bistro on Union Street with an American-style menu similar to that of its former title, Chuck and Augie’s, beginning after Thanksgiving.
“There is still quite a large gray area in all of this,” Bistro on Union Street manager Jenn Lyder said. “The chefs have to create the recipes, alter the options in the system and, finally, get the menus printed.”
The change will come one year after the initial rebranding that saw the restaurant take on a French theme. Although the menu is reverting back to its original form, it will keep its new name. Additionally, the restaurant will continue its focus on creativity.
Dennis Pierce, Executive Director of Dining Services, said feedback from faculty and students ultimately led to the change.
“We talked to the customers and they shared the general feeling that although the French inspired menu was not particularly bad, they really enjoyed the old, American style menu under Chuck & Augie’s,” Pierce said.
However, not all share this sentiment.
First-semester student Derek Mason was disappointed in the decision to revert back to the original menu.
“I was looking forward to the distinct options that would be available at the restaurant,” Mason said. “I find such a reversal one year into its creation quite strange.”
With the restaurant reverting back to this American style, homegrown produce will be of utmost importance, and the restaurant will buy its produce from Spring Valley Student Farm and other local producers.
However, this won’t come without a cost, for both the establishment and consumer.
“Prices will generally remain the same; however, slight fluctuation in price will occur. Buying local does come at a higher cost, as a large sum of money has to be dispersed between the individuals preparing the food, and the students servicing it,” Pierce said.
As the new year approaches and the change is ultimately implemented, students can expect to find signature sandwiches and salads that defined the Chuck and Augie’s menu — such as the Mediterranean Salmon Salad and Barbeque Chicken Panini — and classic American meals that will certainly appeal to many on campus.
Overall, Pierce and Lyder both valued the French experience and look forward to returning back to the establishment’s original format. Experienced, creative chefs and exceptional homegrown produce will inevitably lead to a continuation of the success the restaurant has had over the years.
“The staff and students have been heard, and given what they wanted,” Pierce said. “The quality of food they will receive will be even greater than before due to the exceptional homegrown, fresh produce, including a diverse menu like no other on campus.”
Points will continue to be accepted after one in the afternoon for eat-in or take-out, along with Husky Bucks and other conventional forms of payment.
Sebastian Garay-Ortega is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org