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UB and Sodexo welcomes "The Hub @ Marina" to campus

By CHRIS HOGAN
On September 28, 2011

September 22 marked an important day on the UB campus as "The hUB" formally opened its doors to the community. It will be the new home for the student body to enjoy food and hangout with friends.

Introduction speeches by President Neil Salonen, Dean of Students Kenneth Holmes and Vice President of Grounds and Facilities George Estrada led off the processions followed by the ribbon-cutting ceremony. The hUB saw 400 people stop by during the first hour and a half of its opening and in total served 600.

Estrada said that from the get go the food court produced a lot of positive vibes.

"We are very excited and we kind of feed off the energy of the students and can feel that there is a great energy with this new facility," he said. "I think it is going to be a very well received addition to the overall student body here."

There was a big student push over the past year for having a place that entails late night dining on campus and the demand helped Sodexo expand the hours till 11 p.m. every day. The main food stations include Star Ginger, an Asian style grill and noodle bar, Ultimate Baja, a south of the border Mexican style place and Grill 155, a sandwich station.

Jenn Currier, General Manager of UB Dining Services said that the feedback received was encouraging.  

"Everyone liked the new food offerings," Currier said. "They were really happy with the Star Ginger pieces, the freshness of the product and the difference of the menus now. [They were looking for] Something [that has] better varieties for them to choose from as opposed to what Knights End [Café] used to be."

Each station has a wide variety of food items and everything is priced under eight dollars. Star Ginger's menu consists of Thai BBQ Chicken that is served with yellow curry sauce along with jasmine rice and Asian slaw. Another is the Noodle Bowls that comes in chicken, beef or vegetarian style. The Ultimate Baja has everything from burritos, tacos and nachos to taco salads. Finally Grill 155 offers a variety of burger choices such as the ultimate double burger, turkey and black bean veggie burgers. It also has sandwiches including Chicken and Philly Cheesestakes.

"It [the hUB] is a lot different than Marina [and Knight's]," sophomore Maliek Sterrett said. "It actually makes me want to eat [here] and I see myself coming here a lot with the variety of food it offers."

As for Knight's End Café, it will be converted into a self-serve dining area until next summer. Estrada said that the space will be accessible for students to study and use the new concession based vending machines with items such as drinks and frozen meals. By the next fall, its kitchen will be gutted and the future space usage will be determined by Estrada and Dean Holmes.

The hUB will see promotional items run throughout the year as well as planning to have student groups run special events.

"The bottom line is that there is a trust factor here and they [UB community] know we are here to serve the food and students the best way we can," Resident Dining Supervisor Corey Baker said. "We are here for UB and the students first and foremost."


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