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New dining options announced for McEwen Dining Hall 

The dining facility, now being renovated and expanded, will reopen in fall 2018 and part of more locally owned options coming to the community.  

Part of the new construction includes a glass-walled, two-story atrium. 

Elon University has announced new dining options that will be coming to campus when the renovated and expanded McEwen Dining Hall reopens in the fall, with members of the university community preparing to enjoy fare from more locally owned eateries during 2018.

A second-floor bridge connects newly constructed space in McEwen. 

The new McEwen will include a residential dining hall on the first floor and two new retail dining establishments — Pei Wei Asian Diner and North Carolina-based Village Juice Co. — on the second floor. A third retail space on the second floor will be filled after soliciting feedback from students on their preferences for a new retail option.

A portion of an addition to the north side of the building will be dedicated to a first-floor dining engagement space designed to integrate residential, academic and social experiences in a dining environment. McEwen will also feature an expanded patio area for outdoor dining and socializing.

“McEwen Dining Hall will be a place for the campus community to enjoy a wide variety of food offerings in spaces that are designed to encourage community and comfort,” said Carrie Ryan, director of auxiliary services.

The first-floor residential dining hall, designed for those with campus meal plans as well as those purchasing a single meal, will feature three main stations — Knead, Home & Away, and Greens & Grains. Knead will feature sandwiches and pastries created in-house along with a variety of coffee offerings. With a space accessible from both within the dining area and in the lobby, Knead will offer some of its menu items a la carte for those on the go.

The largest station within the residential dining space will be Home & Away, which will feature a menu including rotisserie chicken, made-to-order pasta, homestyle foods such as meatloaf and mashed potatoes, as well as a variety of vegetarian, vegan and made-without-gluten options. Rounding out the space will be Greens & Grains, a robust soup and salad bar featuring more than 40 toppings with a selection of proteins and homemade salad dressings.

The new dining engagement space will be north of the residential dining space, with the two areas connected by a glass-walled, two-story atrium that includes additional seating. Ample natural light will feature prominently, said Brad Moore, university architect and director of the Planning, Design and Construction Management Department.

“We really wanted to open that space up and get more natural light in the facility,” Moore said.

Plans call for the new engagement space to feature programming that will integrate student life and academics into dining. Similar programming has already been introduced in other dining facilities, such as the Polyglot Lunch, an opportunity for students, faculty and staff to practice a second language over a meal.

Upstairs in McEwen Dining Hall, diners will find offerings from Pei Wei, an Asian-inspired fast-casual restaurant that prepares each dish to order using fresh chopped ingredients. Menu offerings at Pei Wei’s more than 200 restaurants include lettuce wraps, salads, sushi and Wok Classics. This is the second university campus location for Pei Wei.

Elon has also partnered with Village Juice Co., a Winston-Salem, N.C.-based juicery and restaurateur, to open its first on-campus location. Village Juice Co. offers a menu that includes an extensive line of juices and a variety of smoothies, smoothie bowls, grain bowls, salads and toast sandwiches.

The second floor of McEwen provides a location for a third food vendor to be determined during the 2018-19 academic year using input from students who will asked to suggest their favorite retail outlets. McEwen previously housed a location for Chick-Fil-A, which will not return.

“The building’s original architectural plans called for Chick-Fil-A to be one of the three second floor vendors with the same square footage as the previous location. The company considered remaining on Elon’s campus but decided against it because the available space did not meet their new, expanded requirements,” said Gerald Whittington, senior vice president for business, finance and technology. “This provides us with the opportunity to bring a new vendor to campus — potentially a local company — and involve Elon students in making the decision based on their dining preferences. This is the same process we used when adding the highly popular Qdoba restaurant at Danieley Center.”

McEwen Dining Hall will be ready to reopen at the start of the 2018-19 academic year.

Elon students, faculty, staff and the surrounding community will see new dining options — with a local flavor — even before the completion of McEwen. Chapel Hill, N.C.-based Mediterranean Deli is now preparing a new location on the first floor of Park Place at Elon on West Haggard Avenue that is expected to open in February.

The popular eatery and caterer that’s been a go-to for Chapel Hill diners will bring its authentic cuisine from the Middle East and the Mediterranean regions to Elon, with fresh pita made on-site each day within the new 6,200-square-foot location.


Owen Covington,
1/23/2018 8:35 AM