By: Connie Klimek
Reminiscing the aroma of fresh bread, vegetables, and pizzas in the SAC? Following a popular campus request, SubConnection is open for the first time in almost two years.
SubConnection initially closed following the campus shutdown once the news of COVID-19 broke just before spring break in March 2020. Due to challenges associated with the pandemic, SubConnection was one of the IU South Bend’s Dining Services locations to remain closed for most of the pandemic. Chancellor Susan Elrod was a pivotal advocate which led to SubConnection’s reopening on Tuesday, February 1, 2022.
During SubConnection’s break, the Dining Services team has been working on creating a welcoming atmosphere that invites students to rejuvenate their energy throughout the day with healthy food options and an open space for socializing.
Michelle Stark, Operations Manager for Sodexo Dining Services, is looking forward to recreating SubConnection’s student-based environment and reconnecting with familiar faces who visited SubConnection in the past.
SubConnection will be offering made-to-order pizzas, turkey burgers, veggie burgers, sandwiches, and wraps. Dining Services is hoping to expand their menu further to offer soft pretzels in the future.
Dining Services has expanded upon the previous menu for SubConnection, as they are now offering a We Proudly Serve Starbucks Menu as well.
Hours of operation begin at 8 a.m.to 10 a.m. for the We Proudly Serve Starbucks menu along with grab-and-go items, such as parfaits. The full service SubConnection menu in addition to the We Proudly Serve Starbucks menu is open from 10 a.m. to 4:30p.m. Monday through Thursday.
SubConnection’s full menu opens later than the coffee menu and grab-and-go station, as employees need time to bake bread, which is made fresh every day.
When stepping into SubConnection for the first time in almost two years, one may recognize the same familiar chairs and tables, which are just more spaced out than in previous years.
To ensure guests’ safety, SubConnecion’s employees perform a sanitizing process after students leave each table. Additionally, until it is safe enough for students to do so, students will not be able to push tables together and create a “mega-table” as commonly done in SubConnection’s pre-pandemic days of operations.
SubConnection will be the new main location of the full service We Proudly Serve Starbucks, while the coffee shop in the Education and Arts building will now offer drip coffee. We Proudly Serve Starbucks in the Education and Arts building has an espresso machine which is not up and running yet, but it is in the works.
We Proudly Serve Starbucks’s change in location is due to SubConnection’s larger capacity, which allows operations to be timelier and creates a more inviting space for students.
Dining Services is looking to hire more employees who can meet availability in the range of 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.. Student workers do not need to be work study eligible since Sodexo is a vendor outside of IU South Bend employment. Yet, Sodexo does respect IU South Bend’s limit on the number of hours students work each week.
“Follow us on social media @IUSBDining to stay up to date on hours, limited time offers, and specialty food items offered each week,” said Jessica Buzza, Sodexo Marketing Manager.
Photo // Jessica Buzza