August 15, 2008

Renovations to Courtyard Café on track

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Temporary outdoor seating is helping ease congestion as renovations on the Courtyard Café continue. (photo by Susan Urmy)

Renovations to Courtyard Café on track

Renovations are designed to improve traffic flow and allow for new food options. (photo by Susan Urmy)

Renovations are designed to improve traffic flow and allow for new food options. (photo by Susan Urmy)

With construction under way for three weeks, renovations to the Vanderbilt University Hospital Courtyard Café are going smoothly.

Though the work started later than planned due to unexpected glitches, the Café servery is still on target for completion at the end of October. Then, the dining area will close for refurbishment until Dec. 2.

Vanessa Robinson, administrator of food services, said the temporary Café layout is working well, and customers are responding favorably to the additional outdoor seating and the burger trailer added to the courtyard.

“There has been no negativity, which makes our job easier. The customers have been very helpful, and it is our goal to exceed our customers' expectations,” Robinson said.

During construction, Robinson and Janet Walker, Retail Director, are encouraging customers to try other dining options around campus.

“We're working toward comprehensive solutions to the growing needs of the campus. Time is very precious and having somewhere to eat near where they work is a benefit,” Robinson said.

A hot dog cart has been added to the food court at the Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt, and Vanderbilt Bistro on Eight is open on the eighth floor of Medical Center East.

The Vandy Café at Children's Hospital has also added an extra shift from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m.

This week, a temporary serving site will be located on the second floor of Medical Center North to make way for a new coffee concept called Java City, which is slated to open the week of Sept. 8. The temporary site serves coffee and pastries from 7-9 a.m. and beverages and sandwiches from 11 a.m. — 1 p.m.

Walker says Java City, which is also served at Bistro on Eight, will please those who enjoy a lighter coffee. The Courtyard Café will continue to serve Starbucks coffee.

Construction on the Courtyard Café will rearrange the servery to improve traffic flow and introduce new food options, including a chargrill, which is “a great way to cook a burger or chicken,” according to Walker.

A new station will rotate weekly to offer a variety of food options and themed foods like barbecue or ethnic cuisines.

Cashiers will be rearranged and the beverage island will be relocated and reconfigured.

Bottled beverages will be in a new reach-in cooler that will be stocked from the rear out of the way of customers.

“Once it’s all finished, it will have been worth the wait,” Walker said.