Mason Dining makes changes across campus

Einstein Bros. Bagels is now open in the Engineering Building (photo courtesy of Dakota Cunningham)
Einstein Bros. Bagels is now open in the Engineering Building (photo courtesy of Dakota Cunningham)

Anyone who has explored George Mason University’s Fairfax campus over the past few years has noticed continual changes in the dining options. This year is no exception.

An Einstein Bros. Bagels has been added to Mason’s Fairfax campus, located in the Engineering Building. Mason Dining’s Resident District Manager Ram Nabar stated there will be another Einstein Bros. Bagels open for business, tentatively by Oct. 22, in University Hall.

The two locations were chosen to host the new bagel shops because of the lack of dining options near the Aquatic Center and President’s Park.

“Einsteins has been popular at other universities,” Nabar said. That, along with the demand for bagels, buns, and coffee, was the reason given for bringing Einstein Bros. Bagels to campus.

On Thursday, Sept. 20, the day prior to Einstein's opening, Mason Dining promoted the new bagel shop with a free tasting for students who “liked” The Official Mason Dining Page on Facebook.

Another dining change includes the relocation of the campus Taco Bell from the Johnson Center food court to Student Union Building I’s dining area.

According to Nabar, Taco Bell was moved to SUB I because the new location will allow more menu options and expansion to a full service Taco Bell. At the previous location in the Johnson Center, the menu was limited. The new Taco Bell offers some of the missing items including the Cantina Bowl, Mexican Pizza and taco salads that could once only be ordered at Taco Bells off campus.

In addition, the Chik-fil-A in SUB I has undergone a renovation and now neighbors the Taco Bell. Nabar stated that the renovation aimed to make it more time efficient for customers to get their orders with the number of cashiers increasing from two to five.

The food section of SUB I is still undergoing construction across from the Taco Bell and Chik-fil-A to eventually host a new Jazzman’s Café.

Taco Bell’s previous location in the JC, next to Freshen’s, has been taken over by Hot Spot, which was moved there from SUB I. According to Mason Dining’s website, Hot Spot will continue to offer different international food options each week.

Next to Freshen’s, there is a new customary salad bar called Sprouts.

“People wanted more healthy options in the JC with calorie control,” Nabar said.

Sprouts, unlike other dining options, works with the GMU Organic Gardening Association. According to Nabar, GOGA’s harvested plants will be included in Sprouts’ stock.

Across the JC food court from Sprouts and Hot Spot is a new Red, Hot and Blue which replaced La Vincita in June. Nabar stated that Mason chose to replace La Vincita with Red, Hot and Blue because the campus was lacking good barbeque and they chose to support a local business.

Along with all the dining changes made this year on the Fairfax campus, Nabar stated that the Prince William campus will be renovating its Randall’s Café in the near future. Dining updates are expected to be completed by 2014.

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