The Spoke is officially open again for business.
The campus eatery and hangout reopened its doors on Sunday morning after a summer-long renovation project.
Improvements include an express line for coffee and snacks, a redesign of the seating area, new tables and an upgraded kitchen that allows for a more diverse menu and better employee safety. Some new menu items include gourmet flatbreads, stir-frys and pasta dishes — like chicken carbonara and vegetable alfredo. New appetizers, such as breaded pickle spears and sweet and spicy edamame, are also available.
Initially touted to cost $1.14 million — with money being split between new kitchen equipment and floor plan refurbishments — the project's final price tag totalled approximately $1.4 million dollars due to unforeseen costs, such as a millworker shortage in London.
Third-year Faculty of Health Sciences student Dhruvika Angrish works at the Spoke and comes by all the time. Angrish is doubly excited for the renovations as an employee and student with her only concern that students did not understand the line barrier. She suspects they'll learn.
Matt Hooker, a Doctor of Law student, was sitting at the bar with two friends. Although the bar remained untouched throughout the renovations, Hooker appreciates the renovation's focus on controlling the overall traffic throughout the Spoke. Congestion, he said, was a former problem.
Unlike Hooker, third-year student Nikole Patterson-Hurst appreciates what remained as much as what changed.
"It still feels like The Spoke. It's not too modernized," she said. Patterson-Hurst also said the chocolate milk — which she was drinking — had thankfully remained.
While opening day was quiet, by Monday the Spoke was packed with people — likely a sign of things to come heading into this school year.