Schar Café is a convenience to students

By Lindsay Cameron

The vending machine on the first floor of the Schar College of Education has transformed into the Schar Café.

Lillian Zalar, student manager of the Schar Café and Tuffy’s Smoothie Bar, said the café has received a significant amount of business in its first week.

The menu prices are the same as those at Tuffy’s and the Eagle’s Nest, and Zalar said the new meal plans with the $6.50 equivalency allow students to eat at the café.

“It’s just really convenient for students and faculty who have classes during the normal lunch hours,” Zalar said.

Zalar said there will be a Zoomerang survey at the end of the month to assess the menu options, hours of operation, and quality of the café.

Peter Wallin, chef manager, said the Schar Café is a response to a need seen by Fred Geib, the general manager of dining operations, and Matthew Portner, the director of auxiliary services, for a more convenient dining service location.

Because there is no hand washing sink the vending area, Wallin said currently most of the menu options are pre-packaged, such as soups, sandwiches, salads, donuts, snacks and coffee.

Dr. Herb Broda said the original plans for the Schar College of Education included an eating venue, but it became a vending machine pit stop. He said it is nice to see the original plans executed.

“Faculty seem very positive about it, and have used it, enjoy it, and appreciate it,” Broda said.

Broda said faculty on the east side of campus must walk a significant distance or drive for lunch. Even the fast food restaurants are on the west side of campus, Broda said.

“On a rainy day or cold day, it’s nice to be able to have food here,” Broda said.

Dr. Jim Rycik said he has not been to the café yet but he plans to visit.

“I think it’s a good idea, especially for graduate students because a lot of times they have to come straight from work, so it’s a good service for them,” Rycik said.

Students also enjoy the convenience of the café.

Biology and Chemistry major Christina Herbst has never had a class in Schar, but she bought a chicken Caesar wrap and a Gold Peak Lemon tea for lunch at the Schar café on Friday, and returned again for dinner, because the location and hours are convenient for her. She said with classes at nine, 10, 12, and one o’clock, she doesn’t feel like carrying four heavy textbooks across campus to the Eagle’s Nest. For the same reasons, she appreciates the $6.50 meal plan equivalency that allows her to eat at the Schar café instead of Convo.

Herbst said she returned for dinner because she needed to eat prior to departing for the Honors retreat at 5 p.m. Since the café opens at four, this gave her an extra half hour to enjoy her meal rather than rushing back from Convo, which opens at 4:30 p.m.

Herbst said in the future, she would like to see Vitamin Water offered and a value option that would consist of a menu item, drink, and a snack combo equal to the equivalency price.

Shanna Srock said she appreciates healthy food, and she looks forward to seeing more fruits and vegetables added to the menu.

“It’s great to have a new café. I plan to take full advantage of it because I don’t have time to make my own food when I have class back-to-back,” Srock said.

The Schar café is open Mondays through Fridays from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. and 4 – 6 p.m.