The lower level of Weinstein Dining Hall, otherwise known as Downstein, reopened Tuesday after the summer renovations updated and modernized the seating area and kitchen for the first time in over 25 years.
Owen Moore, head of Dining Services, said student members’ input and comments from the Dining Advisory Board led to the changes that were made.
“[We] captured all the things students liked and incorporated them into the Downstein project,” Moore said. “Some of those ideas included a salad bar design similar to Hayden, the glass tile style used in Third North and different types of seating areas. And students definitely wanted it brighter.”
The changes also include an extended service line, doubling grill station size and a full vegetarian station with Mongolian-style cuisine.
The new options are enticing not only to freshmen, but to upperclassmen who used to eat at Downstein.
CAS sophomore Jenny Baldewyn wished the alterations had been made when she lived in Weinstein Residence Hall.
“I used to eat elsewhere even when I lived there,” Baldewyn said. “Had they changed it up and made it interesting my freshman year, I might have actually gone there. I’m sort of jealous of the current freshmen there.”
Passport stations, which feature four international options each day, were reintroduced and expanded as a full-time feature of the dining hall. Weinstein also received a soft-serve frozen yogurt station with a full topping bar, as well as a 60-inch TV.
Still, the changes seem to be too little, too late for some upperclassmen, like former Weinstein resident and CAS junior Matt Schneider.
“Eating at Downstein gave me the worst food poisoning of all time my freshman year,” Schneider said. “I’m glad they finally modernized it, and I wish they’d done it earlier.”
Grant Wu, Stern freshman and Weinstein resident, said he has yet to come to conclusions about the food court.
“Obviously it’s nice to have a completely new facility in your hall,” Wu said. “But I haven’t gotten to try all the dining halls yet, and I guess I’ll pick a favorite eventually.”
While the debut of the dining hall went well for the morning and afternoon crowds, a technical malfunction forced an evacuation of the building for nearly an hour in the evening.
According to Moore, an electrical breaker reactivation failure led to steam buildup in the new system, which triggered the fire alarm.
“The problem was resolved at 7 a.m. [yesterday] morning, and we do not anticipate this problem reoccurring,” Moore added.
A version of this article appeared in the Sept. 6 print edition. Alex Silady is a staff writer. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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