SGA announces changes to Campus Dining’s operation hours Saturday, Feb 27 2021 

By Madelin Shelton — 

In response to survey results about the University of Louisville’s decision to cut back campus dining services, U of L’s Student Government Association has announced adjustments made by the university to the dining hours of operation. The university has expanded dining hours for several campus locations, including Subway, the Starbucks at SAC East and more.

  • Effective Friday, Feb. 26, Subway will reopen on Fridays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Effective Saturday, Feb. 27, through Saturday, March 27, Starbucks at SAC East will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Effective Monday, March 1, Einstein Bros Bagels will be open Monday – Friday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. for GrubHub orders only, the location will not be taking orders at the counter.
  • Effective Saturday, April 3, Starbucks at Ekstrom will return to its regular Saturday operating hours of 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Campus Dining will also be covering transaction costs associated with ordering Einstein’s on GrubHub. SGA President Sabrina Collins said that there shouldn’t be any reimbursement process or special step that students would need to take.

“My understanding is that this was done to limit the number of staff needed to keep the location open which in turn limits operational costs,” Collins said. “Decisions about closures were made with data regarding foot traffic and things like that, so Dining must have felt it necessary to limit operational costs at Einsteins through this decision while meeting student demands to bring the location back online.”

U of L Dining originally reduced its hours for some dining locations, even closing some entirely, as a result of a 39% reduction in student, faculty, staff and visitors on campus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Students and parents immediately expressed their frustration once the initial change came out. U of L then asked for survey feedback from members of the U of L community to see what adjustments were desired and needed. The above adjustments were made in response to the survey results.

File Graphic // The Louisville Cardinal

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New year, new look: Ville Grill to receive major renovations by end of 2020 Wednesday, Jul 29 2020 

By Madelin Shelton and Joseph Garcia

One of campus’ dining staples, the Ville Grill, will look much different this fall. As part of a long-term partnership with Aramark, the Ville Grill is getting a major update–its first since opening in 2009. The first phase of the $2 million renovation is set to complete this summer.

The project will be entirely funded by Aramark using the remaining funds from a $32 million commitment Aramark made in 2016 to add and renovate existing venues.

The overhauled Ville Grill will come with new food options for students, an updated aesthetic and a second floor with additional seating. The renovation will be divided into two phases.

“Phase one will be an upgrade to the first floor, which includes expanded offerings, such as an allergen-free Worry Free Zone, a smoker that will feature different meats daily, and an updated look and feel within the space,” Mark Watkins, chief operating officer at U of L said. This phase is set to complete August 15.

Watkins said the second phase, which will include the additional seating, will be completed by the end of October. This will increase the maximum seating occupancy from 400 to 600. However to maintain safe social distancing, maximum capacity will be temporarily capped at 200.

Photo by Joseph Garcia // The Louisville Cardinal

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U of L should keep restaurants open on weekends Sunday, Mar 8 2020 

By Ben Goldberger —

The University of Louisville’s roots are as a commuter school, but the administration has tried to shift the narrative to a more traditional university feel. 

New academic buildings, successful athletic programs and large scholarships make U of L attractive to out-of-state students. 

Despite these factors, there are still strong tendencies that make the school feel like a commuter school, especially to out-of-state students who are on campus all the time.

Probably the biggest factor that causes this feeling is the lack of on-campus food options during the weekend.

During the week, all 15 restaurants on the Belknap campus are open, giving students a relatively diverse menu of options to choose from. On Fridays, four of those restaurants close down at 2 p.m., and six others close an hour later.

With the cafe in the Student Recreation Center closed all day Fridays, that only leaves students with four restaurants to choose from for dinner. 

This may still seem like a lot of options, but having to choose from the same four restaurants can become very repetitive. 

“I know that our campus dining employees are already overworked, but it’s unfair that students who live on campus have such limited options to use their meal plans over the weekend, especially for those in traditional dorms who have to use a plan with very little flex points,” said sophomore Dawson Coovert.

The lack of open restaurants during the weekends encourages students to spend their time off campus, indirectly discouraging them from feeling the campus presence that the administration is trying to move toward.

“I guess it’s affected campus culture by making campus basically dead on the weekends because the only people on campus are the people who have to be there,” Coovert said.

This is especially limiting to students who do not have a car. While there are restaurants open underneath the Cardinal Towne Apartments, students cannot use the money on their meal plan to pay for that food. 

If the university is going to charge students thousands of dollars for a required meal plan, they should give the students an opportunity to actually use it on the weekends. 

Unless the student goes in and changes their meal plan before the semester, they are assigned the All Access Plan which is $2,032.

If an average meal is assumed to be $7, the students are paying for three meals a day, seven days a week for every day of the semester. By closing about 75 percent of their dining options down on the weekends, the university is inhibiting the full use of the meal plans assigned to the students. 

Also, two of the four restaurants that are open on the weekends and on Friday nights are in the SAC, and the other two are next to the University Tower Apartments. These locations are not convenient for a lot of students on campus and limit what options they have for their meals. By opening up more restaurants around campus, it allows students to have easier access to their meals for the day. 

Graphic by Shayla Kerr // The Louisville Cardinal

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New restaurants should be added to campus Wednesday, Mar 4 2020 

By Ben Goldberger —

Students have a large amount of dining options on campus with different types of cuisine. There are chain restaurants like Subway and Chick-Fil-A, a cafeteria-style dining option in the Ville Grille and fresher options in the Marketplace.

But throughout these options, many of the restaurants sell the same types of food. There are three different sandwich restaurants, two American-style fast food places and a burger station both in the Marketplace and the Ville Grille. 

Because of this, U of L should bring in new restaurants to give students broader options when choosing where to get a bite to eat. The following restaurants are some dining options that would be great to have on campus.

Cook Out

This is an obvious suggestion for a restaurant on a college campus. Cook Out has pretty much every type of food under the moon, with a menu consisting of burgers, hot dogs, quesadillas, chicken nuggets, milkshakes, cheesecake and so much more.

On top of this, all Cook Out locations are open past 2 a.m., giving students an option for dinner if they are out late studying. This combination of an extensive menu and late hours is the perfect recipe for a restaurant on a college campus.


The biggest thing that is missing in the U of L dining scene is healthy options.

Sweetgreen is a chain restaurant that serves healthy foods such as salads and grain bowls. Having a healthier option on campus would make eating on campus much easier for vegan and vegetarian students at the university.

It would also allow for students to eat more sustainably since Sweetgreen does not offer any meat products. This would play into U of L’s value of sustainability, so it would also benefit the university as a whole. Sweetgreen is a win-win situation for both the students and the administration and should be brought to campus as soon as possible.

Mark’s Feed Store

Once a favorite dining spot on campus, Mark’s Feed Store was replaced by Sandwich Shack last year. Mark’s Feed Store was notorious for its great meal swipe options, giving the largest amount of food across all campus meal swipes.

Bringing back this Louisville born-and-raised dining option would be widely appreciated across the student body. Along with the positive reaction that will come with adding this dining option to campus, Mark’s Feed Store will diversify the campus dining options by adding barbeque to the menu.

Assorted Food Trucks

There are few things that are pretty much universally liked, and one of these things is food trucks.

No matter where you are, everyone gets excited when they see a food truck. Having a food truck of the week from local restaurants will allow students to have a quick bite in between classes. The food trucks on campus will also increase the diversity of food options that students can choose from. 

Food trucks would be a quirky addition to the campus dining scene that would promote the city as well as excite the students. 

There are many different ways the university could improve the options for eating on campus, but these four are a great place to start.

Graphic by Shayla Kerr // The Louisville Cardinal

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