By Kalli Damschen
Baylor Dining Services will renovate Memorial Dining Hall and adding a new commercial cafe and bakery, Au Bon Pain, to the Paul L. Foster Campus for Business and Innovation.
Memorial Dining Hall will close after service on May 1 for interior renovations and will open again at the beginning of the fall semester. The expanded dining hall will include a homemade gelato bar, a new carving block for deli meats, and alternating Mediterranean, Italian and Asian bistro classics.
“It’ll definitely be nice to have some new options,” said Houston sophomore Casey Froehlich.
The salad station at Memorial will also be expanded to include a greater variety of options, including a salad entree, according to Sean McMahon, director of Campus Dining, and Laura Lorenz, food service director at Memorial. Many of the current favorites at Memorial, including the flying saucer station and the made-to-order deli, will also be improved.
McMahon and Lorenz said the renovations will also add a new “worry-free” station for students with food allergies or sensitivities.
“The overall objective is to improve the student experience,” McMahon wrote in an email to the Lariat. “The renovation will provide more variety, new equipment, better efficiency and a much needed upgrade to the facility.”
This upgrade to the facility will improve the interior structure of the dining hall while maintaining “much of the warm, historic feel of the current Memorial,” McMahon wrote.
Over the summer, Baylor Dining Services will also be building a new commercial dining location. Au Bon Pain, meaning “Place with the Good Bread” in French, is a cafe and bakery chain headquartered in Boston. The new location will be on the Paul L. Foster Campus for Business and Innovation on Fourth Street.
The menu at Au Bon Pain includes breakfast and lunch sandwiches, wraps, salads, coffee and baked goods. Menu items will be available both made to order and pre-packaged.
Health Magazine has repeatedly named Au Bon Pain one of America’s top five healthiest restaurants. Au Bon Pain was also one of the first cafes in the U.S. to display calorie counts alongside each menu item, and today each location provides detailed nutritional and allergen information for a variety of dietary needs.
The new Au Bon Pain location will open in August around the start of the fall semester.