What’s New at the Commons Café


Rachel Chou, Opinions Editor

What is a Samurai hotdog and where can you get one? The Commons Café is the university’s newest dining addition, located in the Commons Building at the South Campus Apartments. The Café features new menu items you won’t find anywhere else on campus, including an extensive burger and hot dog selection with names like Samurai and Buffalo Bleu.

“We wanted to make sure we had offerings that weren’t similar to the Bison, and make it more of a destination location,” David D. Freeland, district manager of Parkhurst Dining Services said. “We wanted to make it unique and give it it’s own sense of identity.”

With booth and table seating for at most 80 people, the Café features outdoor and indoor seating, a pool table, a super automatic espresso machine, and fresh produce that students can take back to their room for meal preparation.

“What we’re doing is trying to offer students the option to buy things they might buy in the grocery store, so that they can be able to prepare a meal in their residence hall,” Freeland said.

At the Café, you can purchase sustainable items such as hydroponically grown produce: a soilless growing technique that produces nutrient-rich vegetables. Additionally, burgers are made with locally supplied meat and support farmers in Middlebury, Pennsylvania. This is a new feature not found anywhere else on campus, and one that Freeland says Dining Services hopes to establish in other dining locations in the future.

Freeland said the Café has been attracting both students and faculty alike.

“It’s been doing really well. Customer accounts are more than projected and we’ve been pleasantly surprised to find that we are drawing people not only from the south apartments, but also people from their classes, as well as administration. There’s more food variety there than you can find from the library; you can’t get the Panini press there. That was the biggest unknown for us when we were developing it–how many people would return for lunch,” Freeland said.

The café is open Monday-Friday from 7 a.m.-11 p.m.

“I do wish it was open on Saturdays and Sundays because there are no uphill dining options during the weekend,” Marissa Young ’16 said.

For now, the Commons Café is a great new uphill dining option for those looking for a change.

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