Ranging from new eateries to ongoing renovations, Duke Dining will be ushering in diverse changes this year.
“Duke Dining is excited to be opening three new world-class venues on campus this fall,” Robert Coffey, director of dining services, wrote in an email. “Beyù Blue [Coffee], Sazón [Latin American Table], and Red Mango Café in Wilson Gym are all on schedule and will be ready to serve the Duke community for fall semester opening. Each venue will have grand opening events during First Big Week, offering free samples, giveaways, and more.”
Beyù Blue Coffee will occupy Joe Van Gogh’s former space in the Bryan Center Plaza. According to a news release, the Beyù team plans to host a grand opening celebration featuring live music at the beginning of the semester. Dorian Bolden, Trinity '02, owns the new coffee shop in addition to Beyù Caffè in Durham.
"My overall goal is for the students to help define this space as their community spot for great coffee that fosters great and even constructive social interaction," Bolden said in the news release.
Located next to Il Forno, Sazón Latin American Table will offer Latin cuisine and serve as the Brodhead Center's newest eatery. Options on its menu vary from build-your-own arepas, tortillas, bowls or salads to daily regional specials.
Junior Aryaman Gupta, co-chair of the Duke University Student Dining Advisory Committee, explained DUSDAC's reaction to the new dining venue in an email.
"DUSDAC is extremely excited to have an on-campus location that serves Latin cuisine as it additionally diversifies the options at Duke," Gupta wrote.
As announced in February, Red Mango Café will replace Quenchers in Wilson Gym. Although the decision was met with criticism, Red Mango Café will still offer some student favorites from the former smoothie bar, such as fresh fruit and protein smoothies. Gupta wrote that Red Mango Café will also have a “customer friendly redesign” alongside an “expanded menu” that includes sandwiches and fresh juice.
What then will fill the void of Red Mango's former space in the Bryan Center? As of now, DUSDAC and Duke Dining are still deliberating.
"At this time, there are no major updates for the space originally occupied by Red Mango but we are working with Duke Dining and the student body to make a decision," Gupta wrote.
In order to respect students and food from all cultures and origins, Gupta wrote that a “major theme” this year for DUSDAC is diversity. He explained that DUSDAC wants to consult students from various cultures in its decisions that “require information outside of our existing knowledge and experience.”
“As always, student feedback and communication are crucial for our success,” Gupta wrote. “We are currently developing better methods to inform the community about Dining-related updates and ways for DUSDAC to receive constructive feedback. From freshmen to seniors, we hope to see many students apply for the committee this fall as age is not a barrier to becoming an integral member of DUSDAC.”
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Coffey explained that Duke Dining will be working closely with DUSDAC this year on three new renovation projects. The updates in the works are a new Kosher deli in the Bryan Center, renovations to Café Edens in McClendon Tower and a new eatery in the former Red Mango space in the Bryan Center.
“I look forward to seeing DUSDAC act as an effective liaison between the students and the administration; as the primary voice in this communication, it is our responsibility to make sure the student body’s desires are heard and acted upon,” Gupta wrote.
Duke Dining recently took a step toward advancing its sustainability efforts by banning the use of disposable plastics in all dining facilities. According to a July 11 news release, paper bags have supplanted plastic bags, and cups, straws and utensils are now fashioned from polylactic acid—a biodegradable, plant-based plastic alternative.
“This is [a] great step in shifting away from single-use plastics toward compostable or recyclable options, while continuing to provide award-winning dining services to our students,” Coffey wrote.