By Jen Maldonado
Rider is cooking up something special with the grand opening of the newly renovated Daly’s on its Lawrenceville campus today as classes for the fall semester begin.
Daly’s, Cranberry’s and Westminster’s Dining Commons have been under construction since classes ended last spring with “the goal of bringing a higher level of culinary to Rider,” according to Scott Oswald, Aramark food services director.
“We really wanted the dining halls to feel like a destination restaurant with a lot of options as opposed to a cafeteria,” said Dean of Students Anthony Campbell.
The “aggressive 110-day renovation schedule” of Rider’s dining facilities has resulted in Daly’s now offering a state-of-the-art dining experience with more than 900 seats available for students, according to Mike Reca, associate vice president of auxiliary services. The upgraded seating was made possible because of a contribution of $250,000 from the Student Government Association (SGA), according to Campbell.
Daly’s has all new cooking equipment that Oswald called “a chef’s dream” including pizza ovens, a rotisserie oven that will allow for homemade deli meats such as turkey, ham and roast beef, and a charbroil grill that will prevent large amounts of smoke from being released while it’s in use. Aramark, Rider’s food service provider, will even have a mobile app, Campus Dish, which will allow students to view menus and nutritional information.
To get students even more involved with their dining experience, most of the cooking will be made right at the stations.
“We’ll be doing a lot of presentation cooking, meaning everything is made right in front of you,” Oswald said. “Students will be able to add or subtract ingredients and customize their food.”
Cranberry’s will have a similar set up and since students will order food in person, the Kiosk machines will only be used for grill orders, according to Jan Friedman-Krupnick, assistant vice president of student affairs.
Other food stations in Daly’s include Little Italy, the new Italian section that will be a “true sauté station,” the Sweet Shop that will eventually give students the chance to order cakes they can take out, the deluxe Bistro, a station that features “a mimic of a small full kitchen” where food will be freshly cooked, and a separate vegetarian and vegan section. The Mongolian Grill will have up to four cooks working at a time and will have seats along the side so students can sit and eat right next to the station.
There is also a new way to return dirty dishes with a rotating, leveled tray accumulator that will prevent overflow during the lunch rushes, according to Oswald.
“Now the cooks are right there and the equipment is right in front of them so they’ll be handing out finished plates of food, not just have big troughs of food,” Oswald said.
Westminster’s dining hall will have a similar set up as Daly’s and has been functioning quite well the past week with its modified setup, according to Reca. While Westminster’s Dining Commons will be fully finished on either Sept. 11 or 12, students on the Lawrenceville campus have been able to use their meal plans and Bronc Bucks as of Monday in Daly’s, although some stations won’t be fully finished until later in the week.
Cranberry’s, which will feature Subway, a sushi bar and Andrew J’s, a convenience store, will have its grand opening Sept. 13, during Cranberry Fest.
Part of Cranberry’s is currently open for students to go in and eat. Cranberry’s will now be open until 2 a.m., replacing the Bronc Diner as the campus’ late night spot.
Friedman-Krupnick is excited for students to finally get the chance to experience the new Daly’s.
“It has been our goal to be the best food service program in the region,” Friedman-Krupnick said. “We now have the facility and menu to do so.”
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