Each year, the football program assembles a distinct team, drawing from talent both old and new, to take the field in the historic Notre Dame Stadium. As the first official season of the Campus Crossroads era approaches, Campus Dining is doing the same.
Three new restaurants will round out the current roster of dining halls, “Grab-and-Go”s, LaFortune Student Center options and other eateries across campus. The Duncan Student Center, set to open next fall and located on the west side of the stadium, will be the new home to Star Ginger Asian Grill and Noodle Bar, Modern Market and a coffee house featuring Intelligentsia coffee.
Reggie Kalili, assistant director of marketing with Campus Dining, says, “Students were kind of the impetus to getting all this done.”
Representatives of Campus Dining met with members of student government, who offered input during the selection process. The result is the addition of more diverse food options, including Asian cuisine, farm- to-table, coffee and dessert offerings.
In a press release shared with Scholastic, Student Body President Becca Blais said, “I am confident that student opinions were not only taken into consideration, but were the driving force behind these venues being chosen. All three venues will be excellent additions to the new student center.”
Star Ginger Asian Grill and Noodle Bar: Flavors of Thailand, Vietnam and Singapore
Star Ginger Asian Grill and Noodle Bar “offers simple dishes inspired by Asian street food and flavors from Thailand, Vietnam and Singapore.”
Renowned chef Mai Pham created the restaurant to bring the flavors of her native Vietnam and Asia to consumers in a simple fashion. Lunch menus will include noodle soups, salads, salad rolls and fried noodles, while dinner will offer Thai curries, stir-fries, grilled meats and vegetarian options.
“I’m glad that students have had the opportunity to give feedback and truly have their voices heard,” Blais said.
For the past few years, rumblings have sometimes spread throughout the student body in regards to the relative lack of quick, healthy and inexpensive dining alternatives to the dining halls.
Many rejoiced at last year’s announcement that Smashburger would replace Burger King in LaFortune Student Center (also known as LaFun), but some students still asked for healthier eateries.
“I’m happy they chose something a little bit different from what we already have in LaFun. I think it sounds like there will be more kind[s] of veggie options,” says Dylan McDonough, an off-campus junior and vegetarian.
“After three years of the dining hall, I probably won’t want to come back every day. So I think it will be good to grab something different when I’m on campus,” McDonough says.
Farm-to-Table: Dine-In or To Go
Robert McColgan graduated from the university in 2002 with a degree in finance and film. In 2009, he founded Modern Market alongside Anthony Piglicampo.
Their restaurant’s mission is “to serve amazing healthy food to as many people as possible.” The farm-to-table concept will “serve artisan fare without the pomp,” including salads, soups, sandwiches, homestyle plates, pizzas and all-day breakfast.
Serving Intelligensia brew coffee, gelato, and bites to eat
Modern Market’s neighbor, the new on-campus coffee house, will serve the Intelligensia coffee brand along with Freshens smoothies, crepes, pastries and Notre Dame-crafted gelato.
“We’re thrilled to bring these new concepts to campus,” said Chris Abayasinghe, senior director of Campus Dining, in the statement. “They’re a wonderful complement to our existing dining options and [will] further enhance student experience.”
All three restaurants are set to open in January 2018, but the remainder of the student center will open as scheduled, according to Kalili.
“Rather than to do everything at one time, they’re staggering the opening. That’s why the restaurants will be opening then,” Kalili says. “But the student center is still scheduled to open in the fall. It has to be ready for the first football game.”
The Campus Crossroads construction project was announced in January 2014 and nears its anticipated completion dates.
Levels seven through nine of the Duncan Student Center are set to be open by Sept. 1, 2017, in time for football season.
The lower six levels should open in December 2017, while Kalili says the three newest campus restaurants will begin serving students in January 2018. Along with the additions of the Duncan Student Center’s dining options,
Campus Dining remains committed to its current offerings.
“There’s no plans to change the Huddle at all. We’re going to leave the concepts that are in there, there. They’re very popular,” Kalili says of LaFun’s
Updates to menus in the dining halls will continue to occur and next on
Campus Dining’s radar is evaluating the Grab-and-Go system, but for now their focus will be on a smooth transition to opening for its three newest team members.
“It will be interesting to see how this actually all works out — having two student centers. But I think it will all work out. I think there will be enough to draw people in,” Kalili says.