Two of the Marvin Center’s new food venues will open later than expected, while the rest should be ready to serve food before the start of classes Sept. 5.
The WOW Café and Wingery, which will serve alcohol and have satellite TV and radio consoles in the Hippodrome, is not slated to open until mid-October, said Matt Lindsay, assistant director of Media Relations. He said that the Grounds for Change free-trade coffee shop in Columbian Square will also open late, probably in mid-September. All nine of the new dining venues were originally scheduled to open by the beginning of the fall semester.
Lindsay said continuing construction and the decision to have more seating for WOW resulted in the late opening dates.
Sodexho, a nationwide food-service provider, signed a 10-year contract with the University in June, paying GW $112 million to have its food venues on campus. Former food-service provider Aramark announced they would withdraw from their contract in November 2005 after profit losses were reported.
The third reconstruction of J Street in three years, Sodexho’s renovations will offer nine new eateries. The new venues include the WOW Café and Wingery; Grounds for Change; popular chains Chick-fil-A and Quiznos; Cyclone Salads, a salad and smoothie store; Pandini’s Italian eatery and the J Street Café.
Located in the space previously occupied by Starbucks, the J Street Café will offer students the option of eating buffet-style on a meal plan. Students will have the option of buying a 100-meal plan priced at $6.99 a meal or a 50-meal plan at $7.50 a meal. The J Street Café will also offer service on a meal-by-meal basis. The cost of a single meal has yet to be determined.
Wendy’s, Einstein’s and Jamba Juice will remain in their current locations. The District Market will relocate to the location of the Hot ‘n Not on the main floor, and it will serve a scaled-down selection of products.
Carvings, located in the ground floor of new freshman residence hall Potomac House, and the Uptowner Café at Lisner Hall will also open this fall. Under the same ownership and operation as Gallery News on E Street and Gallery Market and Café in Ivory Tower, Carvings will offer breakfast and deli sandwiches seven days a week, while the Uptowner Café will have similar fare and feature outdoor seating on the terrace of Lisner Hall.
Sodexho’s interaction with the Hotel and Restaurant Employees Local 25 Union, which represents Sodexho’s workers, has been positive, said Executive Secretary Treasurer for the Union John Boardman.
Sodexho signed a contract with the union in May agreeing to continue the terms in the union’s previous Aramark contract, which lasts two more years, and offered employment to all workers who previously held positions with Aramark. Boardman said that the contract was a success.
“We had to fight with Aramark to get the agreement and the wage and benefits in the contract are pretty significant.”