Students will have to wait until at least December to drink alcoholic beverages on the fifth floor of the Marvin Center.
The University and Sodexho, which manages food services in the Marvin Center, have not yet submitted an application for a liquor license from the city because operational details of the Southwest style restaurant that is set to serve alcohol in the Hippodrome are not finalized, said Nancy Haaga, director of Institutional and Auxiliary Services.
“The University and Sodexho will submit the application for a liquor license once the project is underway and specific operational details are determined and can be reflected as part of the required application process,” Haaga wrote in an e-mail last week.
She said she hopes to have the liquor license approved by the end of the 2006 calendar year, at which time the WOW Caf? and Wingery will be eligible to serve alcohol. The venue is set to open in mid-October 2006, Haaga said. It has been a much-talked about addition to campus dining in part because it would be the first Marvin Center venue to serve alcohol.
Executive Vice President and Treasurer Louis Katz said the liquor application requires the University to specify the exact hours of operation and setup of the caf?, which have not yet been finalized.
Other than the Grounds for Change Coffee shop, which will be located on the first floor of the Marvin Center, and the WOW Caf? and Wingery, GW has already opened several new eateries including Chick-fil-A and Quizno’s. This is the third major renovation to J Street in as many years.
Junior Casey Pond, chair of the Student Association’s Dining Services Commission, said he thinks most students are “pretty pleased” with these most recent J Street renovations.
“Though I have heard that lines can stand to move more quickly, I received very positive feedback about Chick-Fil-A and about students being happier with these changes than they were with the last major change to J Street,” Pond said.
He added that he has been working over the summer to set up initiatives that allow for continuous feedback about dining. Blast e-mails and mass mailings are two ways Pond said he intends to reach students for comment.
“Right now the best way to offer comments or suggestions is by logging onto the DSC’s Web site at:dsc.gwu.edu and filling out the dining experience feedback form,” Pond said.
A new service offered at J Street is an all-you-can-eat option offered at the J Street Caf?. Offering a 50 or 100-meal plan, as well as a one-time meal option, the J Street Caf? will offer what many students have been hoping for in terms of a typical college dining hall experience.
“The food is very good and – I didn’t expect this – but the service is exceptional,” said Danny Barrow, a sophomore.
Haaga said sales of the full plate, pre-paid dining plans are increasing daily and that J Street has, “been very busy and student participation has been higher over the past several days since move-in.”
She said that while the University and Sodexho are pleased about “how things are going” that the University recognizes “attention and/or operational adjustments to ensure that food quality is consistently high and that customers are served in an efficiently and customer-friendly manner.”
The University receives customer feedback through different types of surveys, Haaga said, in addition to meeting with Pond and the SA Dining Services Commission.
Other new venues in J Street include Cyclone Salads and Pandini’s Italian Eatery. The remaining venues from last year are Wendy’s, Einstein’s Bagels, and Jamba Juice with a downsized and relocated District Market remaining in the Marvin Center.
Sophomore Caroline Argintar said she is frustrated by the changes made to the District Market over the summer.
“It used to be that students could go there and buy groceries between classes,” she said. “I don’t get why they would take that away.”
-Brandon Butler and Jessica Calefati contributed to this report.
This article appeared in the September 11, 2006 issue of the Hatchet.