By Michael Wszolek
The Brower Student Center looked like a mall on Black Friday this past week as the new Lions Den opened for business at the College. Students poured through the doors to check out the newly renovated facility, which includes four more eating options than the previous version.
“I think it’s a very spacious new setting, and I really like the fact that it’s divided by different sections,” said Carolina Charvet, a senior international studies major.
Several students gave positive reviews of the new location and said it was a noticeable upgrade from last year.
“I think the new Lions Den is a lot better than the old one,” said Alyson Magann, a sophomore nursing major.
“Not only does it make our school more visually appealing to outsiders, but it will make our time as students much more enjoyable.”
Before the grand opening, the main dining options for students were the Atrium at Eickhoff, T-Dubs, the Library Café, Traditions, the Education Café and the Fresh Pride Café. Now, the Lions Den is packed with a little bit of everything.
The Original Burger Company serves anything you can find at an off-campus burger joint, as well as creative breakfast items: sandwiches, wraps and tater tots are on the menu.
Pizza, Pasta & Co. offers pizza, as well as pasta bowls that include a gluten-free option. Visitors can choose what sauce, vegetables and meat they want included in their pasta.
Another station, Eastern Sensations, serves sushi and hot Asian food.
Sub Connection, a sandwich and sub shop, was also added to the Lions Den.
“The food is great and better quality than what they had in the old Lions Den,” said Jada Lamptey, a sophomore nursing major. “Also, I like it because it feels more like a food court setting now than what it was before they renovated it.”
Traditions, a sit down restaurant that opened earlier this year, is another option for student center patrons and was the first phase of the student center renovation. The food court is the second phase, while the third will include expanding seating for visitors.
Still, some students believe there is room for improvement.
“There isn’t a salad bar,” Magann said. “Although there is a new one in the Fresh Pride Café, this cannot be used for meal equiv, which is an option a lot of students miss.”
According to Charvet, the new Lions Den lacks an old favorite.
“There was specifically one section that I liked that I don’t see anymore… the sandwiches were premade,” she said. “But now, there’s only the make-your-own sandwich, and I feel like that takes a little longer. Last time I was here, it took me 45 minutes in the line just to get a sub.”
Although there are still some issues, students generally appear happy with the new food option at the College. The food court offers more of a variety of food for all patrons to enjoy.
“It’s a lot better than the old one, which was kind of just sandwiches, chicken fingers and sushi. You can actually get a good meal here,” said Maddie Tattory, a sophomore international studies major.
The Lions Den is open Mondays through Thursdays from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Fridays from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.