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NDFS provides new food options

| Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Say goodbye to Greenfields and Irish Ink and welcome Au Bon Pain Express, Einstein Bros. Bagels, Starbucks Coffee and a new catering service offered by Notre Dame Food Services this school year.

Greenfields, the cafe formerly located in the Hesburgh Center for International Studies, ceased operations Aug. 22, associate director of Retail Food Service Operations Mark King said. An Au Bon Pain (ABP) Express will take over the location at the end of this month, following minor renovations. The location will offer many of the same pre-packaged sandwiches, salads and fresh pastries available in the Hesburgh library branch and the hours — 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on weekdays — will remain the same.

“The Greenfields change was in response to continuing declining customer transactions and a change in patron dining patterns over a number of years,” director of Notre Dame Food Services, Chris Abayasinghe, said.

Some students were excited about the expansion of ABP but voiced their disappointment at the loss of Greenfields.

“Greenfields offered diversity in food to campus, and although I like ABP, Greenfields will be sorely missed,” junior Laura LeBrun said.

“The best grilled cheese on campus is now gone,” junior Lisa Wuertz added.

The space that served as Greenfields’ kitchen area for 23 years will be converted for ABP catering, which will make a new catering menu available for campus events. Box lunches for events will be replaced by ABP bag lunches, Abayasinghe said. This change is in conjunction with the University’s launching of the Center for Culinary Excellence (CCE), which is set to release new catering menus on Monday.

“We serve over 8,000 events per year, and a majority of these events were coming out of our kitchen at North Dining Hall,” Abayasinghe said. “The Catering program outgrew the infrastructure at NDH, and we made the investment at CCE after careful thought and review.”

Food service changes also are underway at two locations of the Hammes Notre Dame Bookstore. Einstein Bros. Bagels will replace Irish Ink in the campus bookstore with an expected opening date of Nov. 10, Abayasinghe said. Renovation of the space is scheduled to begin Oct. 20. When completed, the branch will offer a full menu, and its hours will align with those of the bookstore. David Werda, director of retail operations, hopes the brand’s popularity will bring new life to the store.

The bookstore location on Eddy Street now includes a Starbucks Coffee, which opened Aug. 18. The branch includes a new full-service cafe with Notre Dame-themed decor.

“We are looking at a retail study to review all of our restaurants on campus,” Abayasinghe said. “Stay tuned.”

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