The Hillwood Commons Café reopened on September 5th, after being renovated over the summer, to show off an updated design. It was expanded by 1,000 square feet and it features a center island and a pathway that is expected to help students access the different food stations easily. LIU Post announced the change via Facebook at the end of the spring 2012 semester. The café has not undergone a renovation such as this one since the 1970s.
Dana Weiss, the Senior Assistant Provost for Budget Management and Auxiliary Services, stated that the cost for these renovations was approximately 1.5 million dollars. According to Weiss, “This investment was made by Aramark Dining Services to enhance the customer experience and provide expanded food options. This is part of the ongoing renovations to update and enhance Hillwood Commons.” However, she also confirmed that this renovation will not affect the tuition dollars or food pricing.
Hillwood Commons Café also upgraded its food services. Topio’s, the new Italian station now offers a variety of sauces, including a new organic sauce for pizza, along with calzones and other Italian specialties that were previously served.
Another change is the sushi station, which has moved from the back of the Café, to the front of the center island. Additionally, it now offers hot entrees as well as a sushi selection. The Produce Patch salad station is also in the center, right behind the sushi station. Grab n’ Go selection is now offering a wider range of food for the students that are on-the-go and it is located at the back of the Café.
The Grill and Topio’s now have digital menu boards that make ordering much easier and make the space appear much more modernized. “I saw what it looked like before, during Orientation,” said Tom Hauptner, a freshman Acting major, “now it looks a lot cooler.” With foot traffic in mind, more registers have been added to reduce the wait time and line dividers have been installed for crowd control.
Hillwood Café is also home to the new “F’real Blending Bar”, a smoothie and shake machine that has been receiving a lot of attention. “It tastes amazing,” said senior Sociology major, Samantha McNamara. “This machine makes the process of waiting for the smoothie entertaining.” Students, according to Shawn Carvajal, director of campus dinning services, provided by Aramark said, students have been asking for something like this for years. “They’ve finally figured out the technology to get them,” he added.
There are also digital boards located outside of Hillwood Café that serve as a place for information—updating students on campus events, hours of operation, and the special of the day. Hillwood Commons Café is open Monday through Thursday from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. and Friday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.