Overlook Cafeteria becomes Cafe '65
Published: Monday, August 27, 2012
Updated: Monday, August 27, 2012 03:08
For those familiar with the Overlook Cafeteria’s former setting, the finished product of summertime reconstruction is difficult to ignore.
With a new wooden floor, a fresh green color scheme and an opened atmosphere thanks to fewer walls, the cafeteria – now officially titled Cafe ‘65 – is open for business.
The new layout has the feel of a restaurant, and while the food quality has improved, the price of meals remains low.
Members of UCCS faculty and staff were invited to preview Cafe ‘65 before it opened at the beginning of the semester.
Susan Szpyrka, senior associate vice chancellor for administration and finance, explained the university’s dedication to a healthier, greener student experience.
“This project is long overdue – 25 years overdue – because the last time we upgraded this place was in the 80s,” she said.
Szpyrka also revealed long-term plans to redesign the cafeteria. “This is actually step two in a plan to change something big every summer,” she said.
“Our first step was to give a food revolution to Clyde’s and offer healthy choices on the menu there. Stage three will be to construct a UCCS greenhouse so we can grow our own food, locally and organically, for what we serve in our restaurants here. We want students to have access to healthy food while living here on campus.
“This is not a school cafeteria anymore,” she insisted. “It’s a university center with a vibrant new setting, designed to invite students to get together here.”
Tamara Moore, executive director of auxiliary services marketing, chairs the Food Service Committee, which is behind the cafe remodel.
She said that the stage-like part of the room is suitable for small concerts. A section of the floor is carpeted and equipped for sound, surrounded by comfortable chairs.
Students may contact her if they would like to host concerts for their bands. “If someone wants to host a concert here, they should plan something for afterhours or after 7 p.m.”
At the sneak preview, a local artist, Rick Stahl, played gentle blues music with an acoustic guitar and harmonica.
Where a Pizza Hut chain location once stood, the La Vincita – complete with a new oven – now serves fresh pizza.
Visitors can now choose homemade pizza with either wheat or white dough or choose a different gluten-free menu item.
The newly added salad bar, called the Wall of Green Salad, features organic vegetables and a variety of toppings. The pizza place also sells macaroni and cheese and a dessert pizza with a different pie filling topping each day.
Part of the plans to continue improving the campus will include placing a pizza oven similar to the new one in Cafe ‘65 into the Lodge.
Visitors can also expect some of the classic food options. The other restaurants still include sandwiches, a Baja bar and a grill. Nachos, taco salads and burritos are still prepared to order. Prices for the higher-quality food are still low, with most meals landing at under $5 a serving.