Photo Update 8/6/13: Cafe renovations and Burrow B+G
NOTE: There may be some errors as we continue to work the kinks out. UPDATED 8:00 pm on 8/7/13.
Stopped by campus to check out the construction progress on the two Student Union restaurants - the Centre Marketplace (hereafter known by its more popular nickname, "The Caf") and The Burrow Bar & Grill (formerly known as Coyote Jack's). Since they are under construction, the pictures had to be taken from outside and there may be some blur/reflections off the glass - apologize for that.
THE BURROW BAR & GRILL
As you may remember, Chartwells used their FAU Dining Facebook page to host a "Rename Coyote Jack's" contest back in April. Garnering over 600 responses from students and the community, they ultimately chose "The Burrow Bar & Grill" to give Coyote Jack's a more FAU-centric theme (a directive handed down from FAU themselves, apparently). Right now there's a banner sign hanging in front of the Coyote Jack's entrance.
Inside there doesn't seem to be much in the way of cosmetic changes yet.
As you can see, lots of boxes have arrived, some of which are new kitchen equipment. The overall layout doesn't seem to have changed much - pretty sure that's the same paint job and chairs from before. Coyote Jack's was already pretty FAU-themed to begin with - blue walls, FAU banners, helmets, jerseys, flags, etc; it was a much needed improvement from Wackadoo's which had a more general sports bar theme.
Considering the space they have to work with, there's really only so much you can do without expanding into the (criminally neglected) outdoor dining area. In fact, that's where the major renovation should probably be: the outside. That area could be really spruced up by fencing it off, adding in blue planters, red FAU umbrellas and string lights like this. Maybe even add an outdoor stage to complement the indoor stage because Coyote Jack's has had moderate success with live performances there.
The other thing they needed to work on was the menu. It's not that it was bad per se, it just wasn't significantly different than the food offered next door in The Caf and you could get a lot more of it there. Just saying there's room for improvement there so the Burrow B&G can become a destination for more than just student shows and a few beers. The new menu will be posted here when it becomes available.
THE CENTRE MARKETPLACE
Okay, onto the good stuff. The Caf underwent a $2M expansion and renovation project which will, among other things, update the space with the school colors. First, the outdoor fascade came out nice:
That expansion took over the previous outdoor area and the "surfacing whale" sculpture that was there. It goes all the way to the sidewalk now. I believe they're adding 500 seats by expanding it that far.
And there's the reconfigured entrance.
Previously this desk was against the wall to the right and everybody, student or otherwise, was funneled through one entrance and there was a lot of area for people to slip in/out during busy times. This reconfigured space (I assume) creates the opportunity to form distinct entry and exit lines where someone can watch what's happening. Alternatively it could create two entry lines, one line for resident students (using the meal plan on their Owl Card) and one line for paying customers. It looks nice. In this picture and the next few, you can really see the blues, greys and reds replacing the yellow and purple paint we had before.
Here's an attempt at creating a panoramic view of the new floorspace changes with remarks below.
The first picture shows the new "pantry" area that replaced the old Bocadillo sandwich kiosk. A rendering of the final product can be seen here. The rendering seems to suggest some kind of coffee/tea bar. Speaking of drinks, there will now be three Pepsi stations as opposed to one. The first one is in the original location and two are in the expanded area as island stations. They're spread out now so you shouldn't have to wait in line behind people.
You can really see the reconfiguration of the food serving area in the second and third pictures. You'll notice how the space is much more open now, as before it was closed off almost in its own room separate from the seating area - that area is now contiguous. The seating wasn't available but I assume the booths will return, not just the standard seating.
The serving area now comes out more and replaces the original tray return area, suggesting that there will be more food stations. A dedicated pasta station, a vegetarian/vegan station and more "daily special"/carving stations would be good candidates for those, although if Chartwells was really inventive I'm sure they could add space for Haitian, Indian and Mexican food. But maybe that's asking too much.
The dessert station is wrapped around the south side of that station (picture 2) and next to the dessert station is the new tray return area.
As you can see in picture 3, the central grill/wok area where they did the omelets and other special meal items of the day is now gone, likely to open up more room for lines. At peak times, it got really crowded in there, and this creates an opportunity to form roped-off lines instead of having everyone enter by the sandwich station to shuffle towards the pizza station. It actually looks like there's a lot of space there now and judging by the number of hanging lights, there could be a lot more food!
Guess we'll know soon as the new Caf is expected to open within the month. We'll try to get a full report of the new space for you once it does!
Until then, as always,
FAU DIEHARD BLOG covers development news and ideas for FAU and Boca Raton including campus updates and photos! NOTE: I am not a journalist. I do not work for FAU. The opinions expressed herein are not the opinions of Florida Atlantic University or their affiliates. They are merely public opinion. All attempts will be made to give credit to original copyright holders where applicable.