The dining landscape at Kent State has continued to change this semester as several dining locations have closed and construction continues for a new dining option set to open on front campus next fall.
The CUE Express and Quaker Steak & Lube have been closed this fall semester by Kent State’s dining partner, Aramark. While these locations are no longer open, a new dining location will be added to the Design Innovation Hub (DI HUB), which is expected to open during the 2020 fall semester, wrote Kevin Moodhe, marketing manager for Aramark, in an email.
The decision to close The CUE Express was based upon Aramark’s review of the convenience of its service locations, Moodhe wrote in an email. These reviews are continuous and influence the operational changes that are made on campus.
“The CUE Express is closed this semester but there are a wide variety of food options nearby in the Kent Student Center or Starbucks on the Esplanade,” Moodhe wrote in an email.
Even though there are other dining options in the vicinity, the closure of The CUE Express presents difficulty to some on-campus students.
“The CUE is attached to my building so it’s going to suck in the winter when I have to walk outside for warm food,” said one student, who works for Dining Services and asked to remain anonymous.
The closure of Quaker Steak & Lube was also decided using feedback from on-campus individuals, Moodhe wrote.
“When we talked with guests about what they wanted for that location, they said they wanted a location that could serve delicious options at a lower price point,” Moodhe wrote.
Some students, however, miss what Quaker Steak & Lube had to offer.
“Quaker Steak used to be the place to be in the afternoons,” said Chris Antonille, a senior digital media production major. “It was always packed and then on Fridays and Saturdays it’d be near fire marshal capacity. Then the new meal plan hit and it became a wasteland. To an effect, it still is, even though The Patio is there.”
In light of these recent changes, Aramark plans to cater to students’ preferences with “a focus on Kent State of Wellness and plant-forward menus,” Moodhe wrote. This includes more allergen friendly options, as well as a bigger selection of proteins and vegetables.
Despite new dining offerings, some students feel the closures will affect the convenience of buying food during a busy schedule or having somewhere to sit down and do homework.
“You could say I could bring my own or buy from the Hub,” sophomore public health major Alexis Koston wrote in a direct message on Twitter. “But as someone who lives in the dorm I sadly can’t bring homemade meals. Plus the Hub is really expensive.”
To deal with the closures and changes, some on-campus residents have changed where they go to eat and when.
“Now I kind of have to eat at Eastway or Kent Market 2, which even then, that’s not super accommodating.” Antonille said. “It’s still close, but I can’t go to it on the weekends.”
Aramark gets feedback from the Kent State community through survey responses on YourDiningVoice.com, which are immediately sent to the directors within dining, Moodhe wrote in an email.
Dining Services can also be reached directly through email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contact Abigail Mack at email@example.com.