Campus dining got a new look this summer, as multiple restaurants underwent renovations.
Six dining locations out of the 23 options were updated: K-Lair, Blazer, Fusion, Ovid’s Café, the Kentucky Clinic Starbucks and Ag North. The major renovations came to K-Lair.
“We gave it a whole new look this summer. New flooring, new walls, new artwork,” said Scott Henry, the executive director of dining services.
The 50-year-old building also received new lighting, menu boards, tables, chairs, a logo and a new menu. Henry said not much has been updated over the years.
The total cost to renovate was around $40,000, he said.
Myrandah Bailey, a biology sophomore who works at K-Lair, said when she walked in, the changes surprised her. She didn’t know it was being renovated and she said the restaurant now looks fancier.
“The menu has changed so much from what it used to be,” Bailey said. She said she thinks students will like it because the food is fresher and the menu has more options.
The new menu includes updated salads, fresh vegetables, chicken sandwiches and turkey burgers, Henry said.
Bailey also said the staff is able to get food out quicker because the cash registers are now located on the right side.
“It’s faster, so we don’t have people waiting so long to get their food,” she said.
Thomas Swartwout, a 2010 UK graduate and intern with Crusade for Christ, was dining at K-Lair and said he liked the changes.
“I was amazed because it looks completely different,” he said.
Swartwout said he dined at the restaurant a lot as a student, and the first thing he noticed was the new floor.
Henry said he hopes students will respond positively.
“Part of our goal is to make all dining on campus comfortable and nice,” Henry said. “I thought K-Lair was long overdue for an update.”
On the other side of campus, smaller updates occurred.
Trattoria, on the second floor of Erikson Hall, was renamed Fusion, and now has a new menu, floor and cabinetry.
Henry said before the menu was mostly Mediterranean food with some Thai food.
“We hope to incorporate more foods from around Europe, with more of an international flair,” he said.
Other dining changes were made to Ovid’s Café, which was painted and equipped with a new Coca-Cola fountain and Mexican fiesta bar.
The private dining room in Blazer on North Campus received new floors, tables and chairs. Ag North got a new menu and logo, and the Kentucky Clinic Starbucks got new soft seating, a new bar area and a coffee wall.
The three convenience stores on campus were renamed to Quick Stop @Blazer, @Commons and @Student Center.
Lastly, Panda Express is now open on Sunday and offers later weekday hours, Henry said. He said the restaurant continues to do well and he thinks the popularity will continue.
“Every summer we try to keep things fresh,” Henry said. “I just want to create the best atmosphere for students to enjoy. I want to stay relevant.”