Reimagining campus eateries as people

Andrew Henderson

Walking through WKU’s campus there’s no doubt you’ve noticed its pristine beauty, stunning architecture and wild roaming white squirrels.

You’ve also likely noticed all of these things while on your way to get food, or go to class, but not everyone gets as excited for the latter as he or she does the former.

WKU is home to 25 restaurants, or dining locations if you want to get technical.

Each restaurant has its own vibe, personality, atmosphere, almost its own individual personalities.

Just like you’ll run into unique people here at WKU, so too will you find yourself walking into unique eateries (even if they are part of a larger corporate chain). And keeping that in mind I present a list of five WKU restaurants and the personalities they carry with them.

Topper Grill & Pub

Campus was excited at the prospect of being able to drink on campus. Up until it was revealed would never happen because fate is a cruel mistress and paperwork is hard. The pub was originally going to be called Topper Tavern and then later amended to Topper Tavern and Grill, to downplay the alcohol aspect, and then changed again to its current name Topper Grill and Pub because the “pub” really downplayed the alcohol part.

Going through so many identity changes, Topper Grill & Pub is like your average freshman. Eager to find themselves and legally devoid of alcohol.

Passport Bistro

Last fall, the opening of the Honors College and International Center brought more than just a one stop shop for all your international needs, it also gave us a new eatery. Passport Bistro has opened the eyes of WKU students to the palate of international foods, so long as that palate is only composed of mainly European dishes.

With its generally long wait time and strange hours, Passport Bistro is that kid in your class who went to Harlaxton one semester. You’ll hear about their trip at odd times and that recollection will be long winded.

Bene Pasta

Located in scenic Garrett Conference Center basement, Bene Pasta is always the hot talk of the town in between classes. I’ve only ever been to Bene once and even then it was kind of accidental. I don’t go much because the line is always packed. I’m still unsure as to what is so tantalizing about pasta you can make yourself because generally pasta is simple enough that you could actually make it yourself.

Bene Pasta is the popular girl in your biology class you have a crush on. She’s always surrounded by other potential suitors, but if you wait long enough something might happen. Although unlike Bene Pasta, that girl is under no obligation to give you anything.


One of the healthier food alternatives on the Hill, Subway is a fan favorite of anyone who likes sandwiches, which I assume is a good sized populace. Perhaps a less known fact is that Subway has two locations: one on the side of Bates Runner Hall and another on the side of Garrett. Both get a fair amount of traffic during the lunch rush hour, but I’ve always found the one at Garrett to be more generous with its vegetables.

Subway is that aunt of yours who has two distinct personalities depending on the time of day and whether or not she’s raided the wine cellar. Either way, Aunt Sharon is always fun.

Chili’s Grill & Bar

Chili’s is the new kid on the block which opened up this summer to what I can only assume was more of an “Oh, yeah that thing,” than any great fanfare.

Nothing really stands out about Chili’s to begin with, much less the one here. It’s more of like a spicier Applebee’s, and that’s not a great compliment to begin with. Located down next to the Augenstein Alumni Center, Chili’s seems more of the ideal location for alumni reminiscing on days past to leave the bar in the alumni center and make their way over to Chili’s, so they can at least shake it up a bit.

Chili’s is that cousin from your family reunions who you always vaguely recognize, but never enough to actually want to speak with them.

WKU is full of personality, from our mascots, to our faculty and even down to our restaurants. You’ll never have to go far on this campus to be reminded of just how much we love Aramark.