By Brooke Morse
Senior News Writer
Sick of bumming rides and being forced to go off-campus for Panera-style food? Now healthier, bistro-inspired meals will be found right above the Caf. As this academic year started, students will have noticed that the Grille is closed until further notice. This inconvenience has allowed the Grille to undergo intense renovations that will leave everyone’s favorite alternative to the Caf with a whole new look and style by next semester.
Todd Goepper, Asbury’s food service director, and Jeff Shafer, Asbury’s food manager, have been working closely on the project. Several parties were involved in putting these plans into mo- tion. “The university went and saw a sort of prototype at Southern Seminary up in Louisville,” said Shafer. “Student government leaders and people that were in on the project went to different places to look, and they liked that operation there as far as what they offered and the look.”
According to Goepper, the Grille will now be featuring signature-style salads, wraps and soups, along with subs and personal pizzas. “They will be upscale sandwiches—nicer cuts and nicer sand- wiches instead of your basic ham and cheese sandwich,” said Shafer.
In addition to the changes to the menu, the style of serving the food will be changed as well. Instead of the intercom that was previously used to notify customers that their food was ready, a pager system is now being employed. “There won’t be the yelling, and there won’t be the micro- phone,” Shafer said of the new system. “It will be a nicer atmosphere.”
A nicer atmosphere is exactly what the new Grille hopes to achieve. Goepper says that the seat- ing will be nicer, similar to the seating in the student center. In addition, big tables for committee meetings and a fireplace are two significant new features to watch for after the renovations are complete.
Originally, the Grille was supposed to be ready when the Fall 2014 semester began, but due to construction delays, it is now tentatively set to open sometime in November. Shafer says that if nothing else, the Grille will be open again before the beginning of the Spring 2015 semester.
Unfortunately, because of the delays, students who would have been employed at the Grille have now had to find other work. “This semester we’ve tried to offer them work down here in the dining hall,” Shafer said when asked about alternative employment for those who applied for posi- tions in the Grille. While some have chosen not to work in the Caf, Shafer states that he will try to seek out all of the former Grille workers so that they may have the opportunity to work in the Grille again when it reopens.
Other students have also felt inconvenienced by the closing of the Grille this semester. “You felt like you had options,” sophomore Jaimie Larson said in reference to when the Grille was still open. “It wasn’t just, ‘Oh I have to eat in the Caf.’”
Junior Mitchell Judy said, “Food-wise it doesn’t bother me, but [I miss] just having another place to go [hang out].” However, Judy is not opposed to the idea of a new and improved Grille. “I found a staple in my pizza once, so I’m actually really excited to have something new.”
When the Grille does reopen, Shafer says that its hours may change, but it will still be open late. In addition to those changes, transfer meals, which were previously limited to 16 per semester, will now be unlimited.
“It looks like it’s going to be really neat,” Shafer said. “It’s going to be something different from what we’ve had here before. I’m excited and I’m looking forward to it because it will be something new—something I think the students will like.”