The ground floor of West Union will open Monday for the first time since July 22, 2013 for a senior-only preview of Devil's Krafthouse pub.
After more than two and a half years of renovations, the main floor of the 110,000-square-foot, 80-year old building has been completed. The main floor houses Devil’s Krafthouse, which will offer classic pub fare, and be open only to seniors this week.
Robert Coffey, director of dining services, could not be reached in time for publication.
“It’s been a long time coming, so I hope that it’s everything I want it to be and more," said junior Shade Adeyemo. "I’m excited that it’s at least happening and I can see it happen.”
Students can now re-experience the make-your-own tacos with carnitas, grilled chicken and black beans they sampled during the opening event of the Taste of West Union series Sept. 29. Devil’s Krafthouse, which is operated by local Durham restaurant Geer Street Garden, received many positive reviews from students after the event in the Fall.
The rest of the incoming vendors—including Sitar Indian Cuisine, Sushinara, Enzo’s Pizza, Three Seasoning Catering, Saladelia Café and Campus Coffee of Durham—will be accessible to the public when the plaza, second and third floor levels officially open in Fall 2016.
When the entirety of West Union is operational, the newly revamped dining center will serve an estimated 6,000 meals a day in a community setting.
Junior Kiara Jones said she is eager to try all of the different offerings.
“I can’t wait to try out all of the good food," Jones said. "I’ve heard the taste samples have been pretty good so far, so I can’t wait to try it.”
Freshman Trevyn Toone is particularly excited for the eventual opening of Sushinara. He noted that as a freshman, he does not really know what to expect, so he is looking forward to embracing all of the different options the new dining center will be offering.
"Being that I'm a freshman, I wasn't here at all for when West Union was originally open, so I guess I don't really know what to expect," Toone said. "It will be nicer having more options, especially different options."
The reopening of the ground floor also brings the 20,000 square-foot Penn Pavilion—currently a temporary dining space for the dining venues displaced by the West Union renovations—one step closer to its conversion into a meeting and events space for campus use, which is scheduled to occur over the summer.
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Additionally, the Union will soon begin featuring the "Arts of Science Project"—a year-long art exhibit that showcases research done in labs here at Duke in three pieces of art. The first will be a collage of photographs taken and submitted by scientists working in Duke’s research laboratories, followed by creative representations of them, along with more traditional drawings or paintings of such research discoveries.
In addition to the art exhibit, the level above the main floor will feature a "pop-up" food venue whose fare will change regularly, as well as more student gathering spaces and private dining rooms large enough for residence halls to reserve for community dinners. The top floor will be a commons area that will be used as a faculty lunch venue and a sit-down dinner spot for students.