When Huffman Hall was built in 1960 as a residence and dining hall, students happily filed through cafeteria lines with their trays, loading up on meatloaf, mashed potatoes, and other food like Grandma used to make.
More than 50 years and millions of meals later—things are a little different. Today’s students eat sushi, wraps, and vegetarian meals, in addition to pizza burgers, noodle bowls and stir-fry. (And yes, some still eat those yummy mashed potatoes like Grandma’s.) But Huffman’s dining area and kitchens are now ready for a major overhaul, and they’re getting it.
In fact, it’s such a big project that it will take several weeks more to achieve than the time allotted for summer break, which is why Huffman Dining Hall is closed now, seven weeks before the end of the school year.
So, what’s coming? Well, to start, Mongolian-style grills, ovens specially built for pizza, pasta bakes, pastries and fresh cookies, and an entire area set aside for gluten-free dining. Three separate cooking zones will allow you to pretty much make meals to order from a large selection of fresh ingredients — including an all-day breakfast spot to make your own omelets and waffles.
And other changes are happening, too. The current entry stairs will be enclosed. And more seating will be brought in: counter tops, 2-tops, 4-tops, round and square tables – even some tall bistro-style tables and chairs. All in all, the hall will hold more than 300 people. In addition, in line with Denison’s commitment to sustainability, the re-equipping of Huffman’s kitchens will include a number of significant improvements to minimize energy use and reduce waste, while increasing the ability to utilize local fresh food sources.
But what about now, when you’re hungry and you HAVE TO EAT before heading to class? Never fear, the folks in dining services have been planning this for a long time, and they’ve made some changes across campus.
The President’s Room at Huffman will be open from 7:45 to 10:45 a.m., Monday through Friday, with “simply-to-go” food options—bagels, fruits, salads, yogurt, and the like. Just swipe your card and grab something before you head out to class—and lunch items are available, too, if your class schedule doesn’t allow you to get lunch at Slayter or Curtis.
Curtis Dining Hall has extended both their hours and their footprint – Curtis Lounge is open for lunches and dinners Monday through Thursday, and the main dining hall is open longer hours. Slayter Pit has a new buffet for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and Slayter Snack Bar has even more “simply to go” options in their food cases. Check here for the official schedule.
And just for fun, dining services will bring in special surprises every now and then, like the Mikey’s Late Night Slice Pizza Truck that’s making appearances near Huffman twice this week.