Elon University opens Lakeside Dining Hall

Elon University students rave about new eating options in a spacious facility attached to Moseley Center on the shore of Lake Mary Nell.


A dining hall with seating for hundreds of patrons and sweeping views of campus opened Monday to an Elon University community that has watched the building rise along the shores of Lake Mary Nell over the past year and a half.

Lakeside Dining Hall welcomed a surge of students shortly after its 11 a.m. opening.

The 38,000-square-foot, two-story addition to Moseley Center nearly doubles the size of the original building and features an exposed beam ceiling and houses retail dining options, the large dining hall and a second-story multi-purpose conference room similar to the university’s existing McKinnon Hall.

Lakeside exhibits many of the latest trends in college campus dining. “There’s more food prepared in front of students than in the past, and with more dietary issues being addressed today,” said Vickie Somers, director of auxiliary services at Elon University. “I’ve heard several students give this a rating of ‘A-plus.’”

Outside the conference area, a second-floor patio overlooks Young Commons. An outdoor plaza facing the shores of Lake Mary Nell provides space for students between the dining hall and the Center for the Arts.

Lakeside Dining Hall replaces Harden Dining Hall, which closed last spring. The university is applying for LEED Certification as a mark of its earth-friendly, sustainable construction and operating practices.

The dining hall itself features “local,” “home” and “international” stations. The local station emphasizes a selection of foods seasonally available in North Carolina and a farm-to-fork program where customers can learn more about local farmers. The home station spotlights home-style favorites such as meats and hearty vegetables.

The international station features global cuisine with a different country represented each week. Turkey, Germany, Japan, India, the Philippines, Spain and others are among the nations to be represented this spring.

In addition to the dining hall, Freshii, a Toronto-based restaurant chain known for fresh produce and healthy eating options, gives students even more meal options as part of the building expansion.

Freshii offers organically sourced, eco-friendly menu items for students to customize made-to-order salads, wraps, burritos, rice or noodle bowls, or soup. Elon is one of the first universities to have a Freshii franchise on campus. The chain opened in Toronto in 2005 and in the new building will be located in the Winter Garden Cafe near Irazu.

Several pieces of international art from the university’s collection will be on display in the building. Local artist Sherry McAdams has also painted scenes from campus that will be featured throughout the interior of the addition.

Here’s what students had to say about their new dining hall:

“It’s really nice. It’s big, clean, new! And the food’s really good. We’ve been eating at ‘Nades (the Colonnades Dining Hall) every day, so switching it up will be nice.” – Zoe Heiberg ‘16, of Long Valley, N.J.

“It’s well-organized and thought out. It’s open and easy to see everything. The high ceilings with beams make it pleasing to look at, and it’s going to improve the campus by making it more centralized. … It almost feels like a hotel.” – Lorne Paterson ‘15, of Nantucket, Mass.

“I like that it’s just food on one side with all the open seating. This also shows that the university is expanding.” – Hannah Green ‘16, of Burke, Va.

“I really like the way it’s organized and the many unique menu choices. Colonnades has been incredibly crowded and we needed this new dining hall. I’m just so happy that Elon is expanding. I came to visit my brother so long ago and half these buildings weren’t even here!” – Christina Freiberger ‘16, of Walpole, Mass.

“It’s really diverse. There’re a lot of options with different types of food. You have the Asian going on, the American food over there, and did I see Italian somewhere? It’s definitely more worldly.” – Luke Ford ‘15, of Durham, N.C.

“They might need more seats!” – Eleanora Dolan ‘15, of Cromwell, Conn.

Hours of operation:

Dining Hall
Monday – Thursday: 11 a.m. – 2 p.m., and 4-9 p.m.
Friday: 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Monday – Friday: 7 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Saturday & Sunday: 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.