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The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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Dining options in Meadows could come this December

Plans are underway for a dining service in Meadows that could be located in the Taubman Atrium.
Christina Parrish
Plans are underway for a dining service in Meadows that could be located in the Taubman Atrium.

Plans are underway for a dining service in Meadows that could be located in the Taubman Atrium. (Christina Parrish)

Progress is still underway on a food services venue in Meadows where students can meet and eat.

A survey was sent to Meadows students, faculty and staff in December regarding their preference for a dining location and what would be served there. The results of said survey were recently made available.

The survey responses indicated a majority preference for the installation of a Starbucks or an Einstein Brothers Bagels, with preferences for another Java City third.

Both nationally branded concepts and non-branded concepts are being considered.

According to Dean of Meadows Jose Bowen, preliminary discussions have begun with Starbucks and Einstein’s Bagels. Build-out concepts, associated costs, product mix and contractual obligations still need to be explored.

Bowen says the survey results were recently presented to the Meadows Executive Committee.

The committee and Bowen determined that location is a primary factor. SMU Dining Services needs enough traffic to make the venue pay for itself.

The committee likes the Bonelli Commons as a potential location because of the number of occupants in the center, the number of events held at night and the varied schedules of its students, faculty, staff and visitors.

During the week of March 19-23, a number of student, faculty and staff focus groups will take place.

These focus groups will allow for more participation and more discussion with the actual future customers of the complex.

Further information regarding the scheduling of these focus groups will be distributed.

If you’re already salivating over that latte, don’t whip out your Starbucks gift card just yet. Bowen says all options are still being considered.

“Nutrition and health are key,” he said.

“There are strong preferences for coffee, and if we can make everyone happy, we will, but we also need to have grab-and-go food, smoothies or salads that provide real nutrition late at night when there is a 10-minute rehearsal break.

“I like Starbucks coffee too, but that is a preference, and healthy food options seem essential. The options are still being collected,” Bowen added.

Bowen also noted that cost is a factor. The ideal situation would be to install something that makes money but is also affordable for students.

Space and location are also an issue.

“No one wants a huge green sign in the Taubman Atrium,” Bowen said.

“We need to design a space where we can close the doors and the atrium remains our space…We won’t cook anything on site, so smell should not be an issue, but noise might be. These are things we need to consider.”

Bowen expressed an additional interest in making whatever is decided upon uniquely suited to Meadows.

“I’d love to have student art on the walls and Meadows CDs for sale,” he said.

“It should have a unique Meadows feel and be a place to strengthen our community.”

Bowen says it is too much to hope for a resolution on these issues and a design and contract agreement this summer, but if the focus groups lead to a proposal that everyone agrees with, then he thinks ground could be broken as soon as December.

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