The new school year rolls around for returning students at the University of Arizona with additions to its list of destinations to enjoy a good meal during lunchtime. Students can now enjoy frozen yogurt at NRich Urban Market or Steak 'n Shake at the Student Union Memorial Center food court.
There might be a more diverse selection to enjoy during lunch as a UA student, but there is one thing missing in these options: the Cellar. The Cellar Bistro was under renovation during the summer, removing its status as a restaurant at the Student Union.
“The reason why the Cellar is gone, is because sales went down,” said Marketing & Communications Manager Neysha Aguilar. “We have many other options on campus that provide the same items as the Cellar or are very similar.”
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This room is repurposed into a room for UA-related events, and according to Aguilar, the kitchen and flat screen TVs will be left for any event's usage.
“[The Student Union marketing staff] were trying to strategically use the space [and make it] as useful as possible. It might not be the Cellar anymore, but how can we make it work?” Aguilar said. “Now that we have this space and it is renovated, it is going to be an event space for students, staff, faculty and U of A organizations. If they want to hold events, meetings or conferences.”
This room will be renamed as the Sonora Room once the renovation is complete, according to the Student Union Marketing Department.
“We will be doing other things differently, like making sure there are visible signs so that people know the space is no longer the Cellar, it’s the Sonora Room,” Aguilar said.
The Student Union Marketing Department will be marketing the room more to make sure people know they can use the rental space.
“We were on the union’s ground floor, so a lot of people didn’t know much about it,” said former employee Megan Zimbelman, a sophomore in the college of communications. “We served burgers, wraps, milkshakes and pretty standard stuff. The times we were the busiest at were after football games, since people would go and buy milkshakes.”
According to Zimbelman, the restaurant was also pretty unknown to many students due to its location, and to her experience, it wasn’t a very busy establishment.
The Cellar Bistro used to be located across the Game Room beneath the main floor of the Student Union.
“Our boss came in and told us, ‘Hey you better start looking for another job soon’ since they told us they were going to close down soon,” said Hayden Jackson, a junior majoring in information science technology. “I was a lead at the Cellar for a year and a half.”
According to Aguilar, other restaurants on campus have opened to diversify the range of options students can have for a meal. Another purpose was to promote a better nutrition with selections like NRich and Steak and Shakes.
It's yet to be determined if any other restaurants will be close, but only time and sales will tell if any selections might be replaced or repurposed.
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