The Cellar offers new lunch-only menu options

Posters advertising the new Cellar menu — Photo credit to Claire Weckl

Many students know and adore the Cellar as a popular weekend spot and one-stop shop for all their snacky needs. They come for the hot-off-the-oven pizza and stay for the music, cozy underground environment and friends they meet while there.

With the start of the new school year, however, people will know the Cellar for another thing: their unique lunch options. Students can come to the Cellar on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. when they will be offering six new sets of menu items to choose from. During these times, the non-lunch menu will be unavailable, except for ice cream, milkshakes and smoothies.

So far, the Cellar has provided gourmet salad options, stuffed avocado bowls and a Cellar-style grilled cheese with special toppings.

According to the Cellar and C-Store Coordinator John Roush, people can expect a mac-n-cheese bar and a selection of pho bowls to come, among other dishes.

“It’s kind of streetcar-themed in the way we present our food,” Roush said.

“It’s cool; it looks really good,” sophomore Kayla Poe said. “It’s tough to go all the way downstairs sometimes, but I would do it for the food.”

Several new people joined the Cellar’s lead team this year, and they were responsible for presenting the concept of new lunch items. The team seeks not only to provide more diverse lunch options, but to “enhance the culinary representation from less mainstream cultures on our campus,” according to their informative flyer.

“I think students who are from different parts of the country or from different countries entirely or cultures that aren’t very well-represented on campus will have an outlet that in some small way represents the food and lifestyle that they experience at home,” Roush said.

The team is fine-tuning recipes for items such as pho bowls and tacos, including reaching out to student organizations to ensure that these items represent their respective cultures appropriately.

“We want to get it right because we don’t want people to feel like we’re offering something from one culture and then we botch it,” Roush said.

The lead team at the Cellar also  aims to draw more faculty and staff down to the Cellar,  with the new addition of healthier and more diverse options.

Roush stated that they don’t want the unique experience and vibe of the Cellar to change, but they do want to make it more accessible and affordable to anyone on campus. In fact, the executives at the Cellar are working to get all the items on the new lunch menus down to three dollars.

The final hope of the Cellar team is that this change will make lunchtime more convenient for students.

“We’re looking for a way to draw people in during the daytime hours, and we also know it’s really packed in the S.U.B. at noon so people can come down and beat the lines,” Roush said.

The most important thing to the lead team at Dining and Conference Services and the Cellar is student interaction. The new menus were created with the specific purpose of being more accomodating for the campus community, but they won’t be able to know what students want without their contributions.

“Feedback is super important to us,” Roush said. “We need students to let the campus know what we can do for them, so we need their input.”