A $1.3 million renovation of the Mac-Corry cafeteria will include the Canadian Grilling Company, a restaurant designed by Food Network Canada Chef Michael Smith. In April 2010, Sodexo signed a food contract with Queen’s which included the installation of Smith’s restaurant.
A third of the renovation cost will be covered by Sodexo, but the University will own the space and cover all remaining expenses.
As part of their contract, Sodexo charges the University a fee for managing the restaurant with their own employees.
Bruce Griffiths, director of housing and hospitality services, said the new restaurant will open in October.
While the cafeteria has been expanded in the past, Griffiths said a substantial renovation was needed given the expected increase in patrons.
“Gradually we have adapted as best we could,” Griffiths told the Journal via email. He added that vending machines have been moved for extra space and cash register stations have been expanded.
“We really reached the limits of the old design and needed to look at something to properly service a very large customer base.”
The Mac-Corry space was originally built in the mid-70s. The new design will improve traffic flow in the cafeteria with a one-way entrance at the north end leading around the dining area, Griffiths said.
Before it closed in May 2011, the Mac-Corry cafeteria had a Pita Pit, Pizza Pizza and featured Sodexo baked goods, grilled items and soups.
Griffiths said these services will re-open on Sept. 22. They will be relocated on the north wall of the cafeteria with a self-service area and cash registers at the back.
The Canadian Grilling Company will be located in the south end of the space, separated from the rest of the dining area.
The design of the restaurant is lodge-like, with wood, concrete and stone accents. Most tables will seat two or four people but there will be one long group table capable of seating 10. A Chef Michael Smith merchandise centre and a flat screen television will be set up in the centre of the room.
“We want this to be a different experience from other outlets,” Griffiths said.
The restaurant will have a menu featuring gourmet burgers and specialty items from Chef Michael Smith, such as his coleslaw.
“The feedback has been very positive,” Griffiths said, adding that over the past two years they’ve held focus groups as well as consultations with the food committee, the meal plan review committee and the senate residence committee.
Griffiths said the restaurant will be retail style and that students with meal plans will be able to use cash equivalencies, Additional Meal Plan Dollars or MyFunds.
Chef Michael Smith will visit Queen’s but Griffiths said the exact date will depend on the opening of the restaurant and Smith’s schedule at the time.
“[He] has a relationship with Sodexo, and that relationship benefits Queen’s,” Griffiths said.
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