By Tom Ballard
The Lions will soon have a new place to prowl for their next meal in their not-so-wild habitat. The new and improved Lions Den is set to open sometime mid-October in the Brower Student Center (BSC), according to Patrice Mendes, general manager for Dining Services.
In addition to the traditional grill, deli, pizza, sushi and grab-and-go stations that students are used to, the new Lions Den will offer several new food options and improvements.
“The Lions Den will now serve fresh formed burger(s) in the Original Burger Company,” Mendes said. “The SubConnection will replace the deli and include soups and fresh bread baked daily in addition to your favorite deli sandwiches. The very popular sushi will be complemented by an Asian hot food concept.”
Along with the sushi station, the pizza station will also be revamped for students.
“We will have a new pizza and pasta concept that will serve pizza by the slice and authentic pasta dishes,” Mendes said. “If you’re pressed for time and need to grab something on the go, we have you covered there, as well. The Simply-To-Go line of products, which includes sandwiches, salads, fruit and snacks, has been expanded (to be more) easily accessible.”
The food is not the only thing getting a facelift at the new food court. According to Mendes, the location has been given an open and spacious design in order to accommodate busy lunch rushes and provide additional space for students.
“Although (the new Lions Den) was designed to serve food at a quick pace, do not let that fool you into thinking the menu was watered down or a lesser priority in the design,” Mendes said.
The decision to renovate the Lions Den came as a “no-brainer,” Mendes said. According to her, the Lions Den was the oldest food facility on campus after T-Dubs and the Rathskeller, which was replaced by Traditions Restaurant, were renovated in past couple of years.
With the rest of the renovations and construction currently going on in the student center, Mendes said that it was logical to work on the Lions Den at the same time.
“The BSC will be the social center of the campus, with activities, student (organization) space and social gathering (being) a major focus,” Mendes said. “The Lions Den needed to be able (to) meet the demands of the expanded uses of the BSC. We believe this renovation will enhance all of the BSC activities and events.”
According to Mendes, Meal Equivalency will continue to be accepted at the Lions Den and prices will be in line with the previous food prices.