The newly renovated dining area has received mixed reviews from students
By: MELISSA SEYBOLDT
Students at IU South Bend now have a fourth dining option. After months of delayed paperwork and renovating, SubConnection at the Courtside Café (now referred to by Dining Services as “Courtside SubConnection”) is open for business.
“It feels good,” said Director of Dining Services Ziggy Pairitz.
The original opening date for the dining location was August 26, but delays regarding contract details pushed the date back significantly. The official opening day was Friday, Nov. 8. It was a “soft opening,” meaning the location gets very little promotion. This allows dining services to train employees thoroughly and resolve any issues before the grand opening, which Pairitz says is planned for January.
Employee Susann Lee said students are “just glad that it’s clean and it’s fresh and it’s new.”
SubConnection takes on the build-your-own sandwich concept. Grilled Chicken BLT Ranch and BBQ Crispy Chicken are two options in a list of subs customers can choose from.
So far, student opinions of the new dining spot have been mixed.
“Not a fan,” said student Alex Kline. “It is cheaper for me just to walk to Subway. I’m not going to pay $4.99 for a 6-inch sub here, when I can buy a foot-long from Subway for $5.”
Angie Rice, another student, shared this lack of enthusiasm.
“I was expecting it to be the one-stop shop it used to be. And the fact that we no longer have access to soft pretzels makes me sad in ways I can’t understand.”
Student Steven Vigue is fairly pleased.
“I think the place is pretty awesome,” Vigue said. “Aside from taking absolutely forever to get it together and finish the job that was started so long ago, I’m somewhat satisfied with the place. Just seems that so little was done, but so much time was taken. But, the direction the school is trying to head from cheese-covered bread to vegetable-filled sandwiches is the right one!”
Pairitz said he’s gotten both positive and negative reactions from students, either about the time it takes to get their food, or the smaller variety of options compared with what the dining area used to offer.
The reason behind cutting down the menu is related to the issue of food waste. Laws require dining areas to throw away food that’s been open for seven days, and the goal is to have more control over what is opened and what is used.
“For example, we bake our bread fresh daily, and we tend to use those during the day versus it going bad and molding,” Pairitz said.
“We’re a work in progress,” he said, adding that he plans to expand the menu to have salads and grab-and-go options. Parfaits, fruit cups and sandwiches are a few examples. Currently, the location has a few refrigerated grab-and-go offerings.
Northside Picante, previously known as Northside Express, will also experience some changes in the future. Pairitz said he plans to expand Picante’s menu, and he expressed empathy for students who would like more to choose from.
For more information on dining services at IUSB visit iusb.edu/dining.