November 21, 2008

Courtyard Café renovations nearing completion

Featured Image

Crews are in the final stages of renovating the Courtyard Café. (photo by Susan Urmy)

Courtyard Café renovations nearing completion

The early days of December will debut a renovated dining room and a Starbucks coffee station in Vanderbilt Medical Center's Courtyard Café, bringing five months of cafeteria construction to a close.

This Starbucks concept has the full line of espresso drinks as well as frozen blended drinks and premium pastries. It will be open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Because it is an extension of the cafeteria and not a fully-licensed store, it cannot honor gift cards or promotions.

“I think it will be great to meet people in the afternoon and have a Starbucks,” said Janet Walker, retail director.

Dining room renovations include a tile floor and paint, an access ramp to the upper seating deck, and new round tables and wooden chairs with cushioned seats.

“It has warm, earthy tones that will match The Vanderbilt Clinic,” said Ed Chan, R.D., nutrition services director.

To celebrate the conclusion of the renovations, there will be a showcase Dec. 1-3 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Vendors such as Coca-Cola and Tyson will offer samples and giveaways. Retail Manager Sue Yost said this is to encourage risk-free trial of new products.

“We have done so many changes to the menu, and we want to introduce items that could be easy to miss. We also want to welcome everyone back to the Courtyard Café,” Chan said.

Since the renovated servery opened four weeks ago, it has been operating efficiently, Chan said.

“The peak lunch period from 11 to 1 handles 1,600-1,800 people. We offer a full-service menu from 11 to 3, so if customers can come a little earlier or later, we could give them even faster service,” he said.

The Nutrition Services staff is pleased with the outcome of the construction.

“We're satisfied and feel that we've hit a milestone. However, we realized that this is the tip of the iceberg. There are so many things to keep going, and we are up for the challenges that lie ahead. We want to keep up with the growth at Vanderbilt,” Chan said.

Yost said they are forging ahead with new projects like the Einstein Bros. Bagels shop that will be a breakfast and lunch venue at Vanderbilt Health at One Hundred Oaks.

Browse an updated Courtyard Café Web site at

Café hours are 6 a.m. to 2 a.m., seven days a week.