New-look Riverview Cafe, Chick-fil-A open to cheers from JU students
Students said they wanted tastier food and better places to eat it, and Jacksonville University listened.
With creativity, hard work, great cooperation from University staff and partner Sodexo, JU officially opened a new Chick-fil-A and completely overhauled Riverview Cafe Monday, Aug. 26, much to the delight of students.
“This was not just a light facelift. This was from the ground up,” JU President Tim Cost said at a Ribbon Cutting for the dining facility improvements. (See a full gallery of both Ribbon Cuttings below.)
Sodexo leaders have demonstrated their commitment to JU through their creativity and positive spirit – and with the company’s checkbook, he noted.
“We want you to have a student experience and dining experience that is befitting of your time here,” he told a large crowd gathered at the Riverview Cafe. “This is the next step of many to enhance your experience at JU.”
The cafeteria upgrades range from creating a beautiful entrance by replacing grated steel openings with attractive glass doors to adding more fresh-prepared food stations to even augmenting the St. Johns River view.
“You can see the river for the first time in many years,” Cost said.
In adding Chick-fil-A over the summer at Davis Student Commons, as well as in creating a lively new gathering spot later this fall at the River House near Dolphin Green, along with many other campus enhancements, JU leaders and Sodexo are basing their decisions on what students say they want, Cost said. Indeed, Sodexo has increased the number of hours its various dining facilities are open by 86 hours per week, he said.
Will Baxley, president of the JU Student Alliance, said the food service improvements show the synergy between the president’s office and campus. The JU administration is reaching out to students, soliciting their opinions and improving the campus experience accordingly, he said.
“Things are getting done — and there a lot more exciting things to come,” he said.
“I love Chick-fil-A,” she said. “It’s getting better here, there’s more variety. It’s something different.”
Alyssa Cardona, a junior math major from Bush, La., said she has always been a fan of the JU cafeteria, and the upgrades are extraordinary.
“I love the way the café works now. It makes it look like JU is a bigger school; it’s more professional looking,” she said. “The improvements, especially what they have done with the salad bar, make me want to go to the cafeteria more often.”
Zack Schumann, an aviation sophomore, munched on a sandwich as Cost and others prepared to cut the ribbon at Chick-fil-A.
“This was a smart decision, and I’m sure a lot of people are happy,” he said. “Love the spicey chicken. I’m excited Flex Bucks can be used at Chick-fil-A, too.”
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