The long-anticipated wait for the opening of The Vista at Shaw finally came Sunday evening with hundreds of students eager to dive into Shaw Hall’s renovated cafeteria.
“We’ve been waiting all semester for it,” studio art freshman Kaitlin Janzen said. “We were excited when it opened.”
The eight-month, $14.2 million rebuilding project, which started at the end of the 2012 spring semester, officially concluded when doors opened at 5 p.m. for dinner.
The Vista at Shaw offers three different restaurant-style food venues.
The Bread Box offers pizzas made with home-made dough and sauce, numerous pastas, deli-sandwich creations and breakfast. The Bread Box is the only venue on campus offering home-made pizza dough and sauce.
Garden Wok offers a mixture of Pan-Asian cuisine and vegetarian style meals. River Trail Neighborhood Executive Chef Kevin Cruz believes Garden Wok will help international students relate back to cuisine from their native countries with dishes including noodles with stir-fry and curries.
Main Street is a typical All-American food stop, offering anything from rotisserie chicken and mashed potatoes to cheeseburgers and fries.
“I mean, it almost looks like a higher-end restaurant,” pre-nursing freshman Kyle Koch said. “I was really surprised.”
The Vista at Shaw is the only cafeteria on campus offering what Director of Culinary Services Guy Procopio calls a “complete meal.” Each station is treated as a restaurant where salad, dessert and drink all complement the meal.
“What we have here is a smaller, more intimate feel at each venue,” Procopio said.
Another notable difference from the renovation is a new trayless system to reduce water usage and energy.
Procopio highlighted the cafe’s view, describing the windows as a “curtain wall glass with a breathtaking Red Cedar view.”
Students living in Shaw Hall were given three combo exchanges per day and a free bus pass as compensation for the closing of Shaw cafeteria for the fall semester. A food truck was stationed outside Shaw Hall during the fall semester where students could use combo exchanges.
“Because of the location of Shaw residents, we really felt we had to give them a free bus pass so they could take advantage of other cafes, like Case and Brody,” Procopio said.
Cruz, who was part of the grand opening of Brody Square, is excited about what The Vista at Shaw has to offer and for students to finally enjoy the great food.
“I’m ecstatic, I can’t wait,” Cruz said prior to the opening.
“I can’t wait to open the doors and show the 450 recipes we’ve worked on while Shaw was down and just putting out some really good food to make Vista another a great stop on campus for students.”