NAU campus dining undergoing changes

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As another school year dawns at NAU, once more accompanied by changes and additions to the dining options on campus. As other years have seen the death of the once-feared Mein Bowl and the opening of a wings front, this year too will bring some new eats to the scene.

For Casey Fisher, marketing director of campus dining, she is most excited for the coming of NAU’s first full-time food truck.

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Since Spring 2013, Starbucks has been moved from The Union to The Wedge. The new Starbucks is located on the first floor of the Wedge building and the second floor leads to the Hot Spot (Photo by Courtney Martin).

“[The food truck] is a mobile venue that will drive around to different locations on campus, be parked for a period of time [and] offer kind of street food,” Fisher said.

The truck will offer food such as Philly cheese steaks and root beer chipotle barbeque chicken sandwiches.

“I think it would be cool because you don’t have to go to a set spot to get food,” said Evelyn Niemyjski, a sophomore dental hygiene major. “But then you can’t really catch it, it will be moving around, you won’t know where it is, but it sounds good.”

Along with the food truck, one of the more visible additions to campus dining is the extension off the University Union, which has a new upper floor to host additional seating for the Hot Spot.

The main reason behind the expansion was how there wasn’t enough room for everyone to sit at during the rush hours.

Noelle King, a sophomore art education major feels like the atmosphere has improved as well.

“I was there not that long ago, before they did the construction,” King said. “But now it feels like everyone is a lot happier; it has a different feel to it.” So far, King has not seen anyone forced to sit on the ground or the stairs the way it used to be.

Below the upper floor Hot Spot seating is the new location for north campus’ Starbucks and soon to come will also house an eatery known as The Wedge. This front will replace Gateway as the new late-night market and dining option. The Wedge will also have a pizza oven and will serve by slice during the daytime hours, and when the sun goes down, The Wedge will turn into a walk-up/drive-thru place for students on the go.

While the extension to the Hot Spot will not bring any new places to eat within, there will be increased options for those stands that already exist.

“There are some new menus that have been integrated into each different location,” Fisher said. “So there’s a mindful offering which is a healthy, low salt, lower in calories, bigger in flavor, kind of a whole-foods approach.”

The old location of the Union Starbucks will most likely not be filled until next semester, but as of right now, the plans are to open a new eatery that Fisher describes as a cross between Garden Toss and Pasta Works.

Beyond that, the other major change with campus dining is with the smart phone application called Tapingo. With this app, students can avoid the lines by ordering their food ahead of time, paying for it over the app with their dining dollars or meal plan.

“I think it will be good for a finals project,” King said. “You probably don’t have time to go get something to eat, so that way you can send it in and stop by on your way to the study hall.”

If you have any comments, concerns or ideas about campus dining, there is a food committee that students can attend. Information on when the next food committee meeting is will be posted on the NAU Campus Dining page once a date is set.



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