University introduces new vendors in Hub; Rathskeller returns to campus

Kaitlyn Finchler, Digital Manager

Students at Kent State can expect a variety of cuisine in the Hub this year. Following its separation from Aramark in 2021, the company that provided food services to the university for four years, Kent State is honing its craft with its in-house dining plan.

Vendors from the 2021-22 school year that will stay are Einstein’s Bagels, Metro Deli, Wild Blue Sushi and Hippie Chik’n. Grill ‘72 will be added to the Hub, and the empty space that used to house Auntie Anne’s is now in the works of an in-house concept from the university.

“We’ve tried a couple of things; nothing’s really stuck to have people acquire that space,” said Sommer Dunlevy, assistant director of marketing for university culinary services. “It’s going to be an in-house concept. I don’t know the specifics; I just know our culinary team has given me something that is going to go in there.”

While nothing is set in stone, the culinary team has been testing multiple ideas to see what will fit best in the Hub. Dunlevy said the goal is to have it open by the end of September.

“They haven’t narrowed down on a menu,” Dunlevy said. “It is being designed by our senior executive chef that’s on campus.”

Ordering ahead on Grubhub will also be offered to students this year. Food can be mobile ordered on the app and picked up ahead of time in addition to ordering inside.

Rathskeller, an older Kent State dining option, opened on Sept. 6 in the space previously known as The Patio in the 2019-20 school year.

“We’re really trying to go old school and reach out to our alumni and bring something back,” Dunlevy said. “That was super exciting … Tahini will be the food provider in there, so it actually would be Tahini at the Rathskeller.”

Since the university is now self-operated, there are currently no plans to bring back Prentice Dining Hall, Munchies or Boar’s Head. Metro Deli was their concept of recreating Boar’s Head, which has a create-your-own option this school year.

“Last year, we worked really close with the student government and they were talking about the area and lack of options, according to them,” Dunlevy said. “We wanted to get some stuff out there so throughout the semester, you’ll continue to see things open up.”

Kaitlyn Finchler is the digital manager. Contact her at [email protected].