It’s almost sad to think the Class of 2020 will never know the highs and lows that came with eating in Findlay Commons. They’ll never understand what it’s like to eat at the original Big Onion or find snacks in the tiny, post-apocalyptic Good 2 Go. But what they will get to love is something so much better.
Construction on Findlay began in January 2016, much to the dismay of East Halls residents returning for the spring semester. The upstairs dining hall was cut in half, deli eatery Fresh Express was closed for good, and seating was hard to come by. While last year’s freshman class was dealt a cruel hand, there are plenty of tasty reasons to come back to Findlay and take a look at the new accommodations.
After you pass the Commons Desk and all of the mailboxes, you’ll arrive at Flipps, a new breakfast and burger eatery introduced this year. Flipps replaced the downstairs bookstore and serves breakfast Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., with reduced hours from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. Burgers will be available every day from noon to midnight.
“I know one of the things students always talked about a lot was wanting to have breakfast longer,” said Jim Meinecke, Residential Dining Coordinator. “That’s why we’re trying to do it downstairs until four.”
Findlay managers decided on the new menus for eateries like Flipps, which will likely feature late-night favorite burgers from Roxy’s. Most of the new Findley options currently have a basic menu and will add more items as the semester takes off. Despite limited menu options, Findlay needs to hire more students than last semester to work in the expanded facilities.
“Findlay’s need probably went up about 150 to 200 students,” Meinecke said. “We have [recruiting]tables at each station and on campus as well. We’re trying to do a lot with that and digital ads.”
On the way to the upstairs dining hall, you’ll pass a new coffee and pastry shop called Edge, a large seating area, and a blank white wall where Market East will open in January. Market East will feature a 1,500 square foot produce section (and a fro-yo concept to balance out all the healthy foods).
“If you think of the way a grocery store is set up, everything is up front and open. There’ll be lots of fresh fruits and vegetables available,” Meinecke said.
Edge will be open from 7 a.m. to midnight, Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to midnight on Saturday and Sunday. When Market East opens, it will operate on the same schedule.
Luckily, trusty ol’ Good 2 Go will still be around for your midnight snack attack. Although it’s expanded in size, Good 2 Go is currently in a temporary location, sitting where the old study lounge used to be. It will eventually be moved next to Flipps.
The most anticipated changes took place upstairs in the dining hall, where there’s still work being done. Going up the large staircase takes you to a small lounge and two new dining options in the works: a sushi station, opening mid-September, and a new all-you-can-eat space in place of Roxy’s, which will be open for the spring semester. The sushi station will be open from noon to 3 p.m. and will reopen for dinner from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
One thing that hasn’t changed is Findlay’s trayless dining initiative. Diners are still required to carry their plates to their tables without a tray, but they can pick one up to send their dirty dishes into the kitchen on the conveyor belt.
Food options in the dining hall are marked more clearly now with large signs displayed over each station. The hallway even flows more smoothly from salads and deli to pizza and pasta. The pizza station will serve the same slices and whole pies that were served at the Big Onion, but without the trademark name. Meinecke knows that everyone has questions about what happened to the Big Onion.
“All the stuff that was at the Big Onion is still here in some capacity, particularly the pizza,” Meinecke said. “We did want to move on from the Big Onion, but we know that it’s going to be missed and we wanted to keep the products here.”
The new Chef’s Table concept will serve burritos and burrito bowls everyday with different featured burritos and demos for special events throughout the semester.
Here is the schedule for the salad, deli, pasta, pizza, and Chef’s Table stations:
- Salad — Open Monday through Friday from noon to 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
- Deli — Open everyday from 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
- Pasta — Open Monday through Friday from noon to 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Open Saturday and Sunday from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
- Pizza — Open everyday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
- Chef’s Table — Open Monday through Friday from noon to 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Like other commons areas on campus, Findlay now features a private dining room, available for clubs and organizations to reserve for meetings free of charge. The room can even be split in two separate sections with a projector on each side. Additionally, there are two bathrooms and a 24-hour seating area upstairs.
One last helpful addition to the commons is Pure, an station dedicated to students with allergies. Pure will feature a “cycle menu free of the eight major allergens” so students with allergies don’t have to be picky. This station will open in January and will be a useful tool for students all over campus.
Although East Halls is a safe haven for freshmen, you may see upperclassmen in a mass migration to Findlay Commons this semester.