Passport Bistro permanently closes in HCIC

Passport Bistro one of WKU’s restaurant options closed recently. The restaurant was located within the Mauhrin Honors College.

Emma Collins

Passport Bistro, a restaurant aimed at serving international food in the Honors College and International Center, permanently closed this summer when a review showed the restaurant failed to provide a significant source of revenue.

Mike Reagle, assistant vice president for student affairs, said the decision to close Passport Bistro was made earlier this summer when the restaurant’s finances were reviewed. He said the finances for each venue on campus are examined every year.

This summer, the review showed Passport Bistro did not make enough money to cover the cost of expenses.

Reagle said he did not think the food was to blame for the loss of revenue. He said he thought the location affected the the success of the bistro.

“We don’t think there’s enough people going through there,” Reagle said.

Passport Bistro opened in early November of 2015, a few months after HCIC officially opened. The restaurant served breakfast and lunch and closed mid-afternoon. Its breakfast menu included oatmeal, fruit and yogurt. For lunch, customers could order salads, gyros and paninis. It also served Eco-Grounds coffee, a type of sustainably grown coffee, and a variety of desserts, including gelato.

Hodgenville sophomore Randall Young said he enjoyed the food at Passport Bistro, particularly the gyros. He said he ate there two to three times a week because it was close to his dorm and he enjoyed the food. He said his girlfriend and roommate ate there even more than he did, sometimes three to four times a week. He said all three of them were disappointed when they found out Passport Bistro had closed.

Paige Hughart, a senior from Detroit, Michigan, said she never ate at Passport Bistro, but she worked in the Office of Study Abroad and Global Learning so she was familiar with the restaurant.

“Everything on their menu was kind of boring and expensive,” Hughart said.

Crestwood senior Elizabeth Trader said she spent a lot of time in HCIC last year because of her class schedule, and would often eat and study in the building.

“When Passport Bistro got added, it added an extra element to being able to study there because they had food and coffee,” Trader said.

She said she would go to her 9 a.m. class in HCIC and then go to Passport Bistro to eat breakfast and do homework. She said the area was often quiet, and she was able to work there, even during the lunch rush.

Trader said she enjoyed the food, including the meal plan options, and said she often ate there 2 to 3 times a week during the semester.

“I think it added a lot of diversity of choice to the student population,” Trader said.

Trader said her class schedule this semester prevents her from spending much time in HCIC, but Passport Bistro’s absence will also impact the amount of time she spends in the building.

“I would really like to see something go there,” Trader said.

Reagle said there are currently no plans to replace the bistro with a new restaurant.

Reporter Emma Collins can be reached at 270-745-6011 and [email protected].