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Sprout and Farmstead are the next Brodhead Center vendors to be renovated

DUSDAC discusses future for Brodhead Center and Bryan Center facilities

Thought Il Forno was going to the only vendor in the Brodhead Center to undergo renovations? Think again.

Il Forno—the Brodhead Center’s resident Italian option—underwent major renovations this summer over the course of five weeks. Robert Coffey, executive director of dining services, said at Wednesday's Duke University Student Dining Advisory Committee meeting that he expects more similar changes in the future. 

“The next two locations we’re [going to renovate] are Sprout and the Farmstead. Anything can be organic and sustainable if we prepare it in a different way, but absolutely nothing’s in stone,” Coffey said. “We haven’t even put pen to paper.”

Coffey noted that the reimagined Sprout would sell more fresh produce, especially fruit, while the new Farmstead would provide healthier meals to differentiate it from The Skillet and J.B.’s Roast and Chops, which offer richer options. 

Although DUSDAC has considered upgrading Ginger + Soy, the architecture of its space—a long, thin room against the side of the buildings—presents additional logistical obstacles. 

Ideally, Coffey said, all of the designs would be finalized by Thanksgiving, with eight weeks of construction complete by the start of summer classes in 2020.

Coffey also indicated an interest in supporting a new Mediterranean enterprise on campus. Big Bowl, a Mediterranean pop-up restaurant, briefly occupied the Chef’s Kitchen space in the Brodhead Center last year. 

A bubble tea store is planned for the Bryan Center, but it has been set on hold due to unprecedented flooding on the lower level of the Bryan Center, which closed the building temporarily over the summer.

In other business:

DUSDAC is hosting an event at Penn Pavilion Sept. 13 to encourage participation in the Merchants on Points program, which allows students to use food points at off-campus sites for delivery. 

Thrive’s move from Central Campus to the 300 Swift apartment building has been a major success, Coffey said. He estimated that the new location, which sells toiletries and common appliances in addition to snacks and food, serves more than 250 students per day. 

With 700 additional students living on West Campus compared to the previous academic year, lines for most food vendors, including those in the Brodhead Center, have apparently grown. 

Considering ways to combat the rush, DUSDAC discussed a new layout for the Brodhead Center’s seating arrangements.

DUSDAC also addressed student complaints that on-campus restaurants either consistently run out of food or close early. They discussed allegations that Sazón recently ran out of meat at 7:30 p.m., a full half-hour before its posted closing time for the night. 

“Our ultimate goal is to give the first and last customer the same experience,” Coffey said, promising to investigate the allegations. 

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