Gourmet Dining closes Marketplace in Student Center: Here’s what you need to know

The Market Place Cafeteria is closed for the remainder of the spring semester. -Staff Photo / Justin Decker

Rowan University’s Marketplace cafeteria is undergoing a reconstruction that will be enhancing the dining experience for all Rowan students. From March 9 until the beginning of the fall semester the cafeteria will be closed and undergoing construction.

Elizabeth Jordan, the resident district manager for Gourmet Dining, gave more incite into what to expect of the old Marketplace when returning to Rowan in the fall semester.

“In an effort to increase options, improve speed of service and also support the university’s need for more student space, we have moved forward with plans to transform the Marketplace from an all you care to eat facility to a retail facility,” Jordan said. “This style of environment will also create a larger gathering space for students not on a traditional meal plan. The newly renovated Marketplace will enable students to come in and dine, spend time with friends without a traditional swipe at the door. Additionally, we will be moving to mobile ordering and kiosks to support speed of service and provide an enhanced convenience factor to students.”

Expect to see a lot of changes coming to the face of the Student Center over the summer. Not only is the Marketplace being transformed into a retail dining experience, but the food court downstairs will no longer be a food court, as it is being turned into open space for students. Rogo, Xpress and Prof’s Place will continue to serve in the bottom of the Student Center.

The planned renovation is bringing more take-out style food options, while also enlarging the stores that get the most customers. The closing of the Marketplace for the rest of the spring semester hasn’t put a damper on the places to eat for the students.

Dashonn Pemberton, a junior psychology major, has embraced the changes with a positive understanding.

“I mean, if they’re closed because they’re going to make it better, they have to stop running business if they are gonna be making improvements,” Pemberton said.

In order to compensate for the closing of one of the two cafeterias, the staff members who were located in the Marketplace are being moved all across campus. The other locations will be opening earlier to provide more opportunities to eat.

“Effective this week we have started opening Grill Nation and Xpress at 9 a.m. Monday through Friday for an additional breakfast option,” Elizabeth said. “We are also opening the Food Court at 10 a.m. Monday through Friday in an effort to alleviate some of the backup that occurs when we open at 11 a.m. Lastly, Grains and the Food Truck are now open for the remainder of the spring to offer additional options for students.

Gourmet Dining is trying to enhance the student experience by getting rid of the traditional dining and bringing in a larger more communal area for all students.

“If [the renovation] opens up more stores and gives more options to pick from, then I’m for it. I’d rather they do it now than before I graduate,” Pemberton said.

Additional reporting by Justin Decker.

For questions/comments about this story, email features@thewhitonline.com or tweet @TheWhitOnline.