Topper Cafe moving to Garrett for summer

Jessica Sasseen

Pearce-Ford Tower summer residents will walk a little farther for food this summer.

Beginning a week after finals, Western will move Topper Cafe equipment into Garrett Ballroom to feed students this summer.

Downing University Center will close shortly after finals to begin work on the renovation of one-half of DUC’s exterior, the food court and transformation of Topper Cafe into the Fresh Food Company.

“My understanding is (Garrett Ballroom) will be full service, just like we serve food down at Topper Cafe,” said Gene Tice vice president of Student Affairs and Campus Services. “It will be a full kitchen operation.”

The ballroom will boast a salad bar, grill area, pasta, deli and pizza lines. Soft serve ice cream, desserts, and beverages will also be available. Breakfast will be served.

Dining Services Director Barry Wells said the menu cycle will not change by offering Topper Cafe options in the ballroom.

Temporary lines are being installed along one wall for a soda fountain, ice machine, juice cooler and pizza line. The grill, pasta, deli and salad bars will not require any type of electrical or water lines.

Wells said the cost will be “very little” to Western due to recycling the existing equipment from Topper Cafe, Wells said.

The ballroom is scheduled to serve its first meal beginning the first week of June and continuing until Aug. 4.

Depending on the arrangement, Wells said, the ballroom could hold as many as 1,000 people. To accommodate more students, Subway will remain open and Garrett food court will be used at peak times.

The number of students who use food services in the summer usually varies between 200 and 600 students, depending on the day?s events, Auxiliary Services Director Rob Chrisler said.

Chrisler said he thinks the relocation will have positive and negative aspects.

“Anytime you can’t use the premier facilities, it can be negative,” Chrisler said. “But, it will be positive for the people at the top of the Hill who will have food service at their back door. We really don’t have any choice, we have to do it to close and renovate DUC this summer.”

The ballroom was the most logical place to relocate the dining services, Wells said.

“The space is not used frequently in the summer time,” Wells said. “It’s comfortable and it’s air conditioned.

“It just makes sense,” he said. “We feel we’ll be able to better serve all, once the Garrett ballroom is complete.”

When food service is reopened at DUC next fall, all of the temporary plumbing and electrical utilities installed for the summer will be removed and the equipment will be sold.

“Hopefully, come the second week of August, you won’t even know we’ve been in there,” Wells said. “I think everybody that comes to visit the Fresh Food Company will think it was worth the displacement over the summer.”

Wells said Garrett ballroom and food court hours will depend on what is needed and Subway hours will be 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Reach Jessica Sasseen at [email protected]