New campus restaurants change opening date

Students stop for lunch at Burger 256 and the Odette pop-up restaurant Oct. 28 in the Guillot University Center. Moe’s Southwest Grill and Panda Express will open in the GUC in December and January.

News Editor Kaitlyn Davis

Every day, students walk into the Guillot University Center and wait in line for food, but soon Moe’s Southwest Grill and Panda Express will greet them.

Moe’s, originally set to open in October, will now open at the beginning of December before the semester ends. Demolition for the Mexican restaurant began Nov. 7 in the GUC, said Director of Dining Susan Breer in an email.

Panda Express should open in January, two months after the original November completion date, Breer said.

The project delays were due to the time it took for both restaurants to submit their designs for the spaces. Design submissions are a requirement so UNA Dining can obtain a building permit. Building permits prove the designs meet state and local building codes, Breer said.

“The Moe’s plans are currently at the state, and we are awaiting final approval on the permits,” Breer said. “Panda recently submitted their final drawings to Chartwells, and we are working on the architectural drawings to submit for permit.”

Although Moe’s and Panda Express are not opening on their original dates, Freshman Leah Buck said she is happy they will open soon.

“They did say on all of the signs that they would be open in the fall, but I’m glad that they are opening because that’s what a lot of people have been looking forward to most of the semester,” Buck said.

Sophomore Dylan Johnston said he wishes the GUC still had the old food options.

“(Moe’s and Panda Express) are OK, but honestly, I preferred A&W and Pizza Hut.”

In the meantime, UNA Dining offers some other options for students, including the milkshakes, ice cream and frozen lemonade Chick-fil-A started serving Nov. 4.

Kiosks opened Nov. 10 in the Commons for Chick-fil-A. They are next to the Mane Card Office.

“These kiosks will be an option for Mane Card holders to order their Chick-fil-A meal and get texted when their order is ready,” Breer said. 

Downtown Florence’s Odette also has a temporary location in the GUC from 10:30 a.m. until 2 p.m. Monday through Friday.

UNA Dining is working to bring other meal options to students besides Moe’s and Panda Express, Breer said.

Students should also look out for the Gem Cart, a pop-up food service with a versatile food selection, that could appear anywhere on campus, Breer said.

The Gem Cart will be up and running with the attachment of an awning installation over Create’s back door, on the Student Recreational Center. The awning will provide adequate cover for them to transport food to and from the cart, which will allow UNA Dining to obtain a permit from the health department. The cart should open in three weeks, Breer said.

Students who are not heading home from the upcoming holidays will not be hungry, Breer said.

“Create will be open during the planned Thanksgiving and winter breaks to provide students staying on campus a dining option,” she said “Details will be available on as we get closer to the planned breaks.”

Create is a restaurant in the SRC that sells snacks, drinks, wraps and salads.

Phase two of the Mane Market, UNA’s cafeteria, will be underway this summer, Breer said.

The second phase includes additional seating and improvements to Mane Market.

“We have plans for an additional retail location that we hope to open in fall 2017,” she said. “We are still in discussions with the university, and our design team will need to scope out the feasibility of the project in the location that has been identified.”

UNA Dining is working with the university on an official announcement about the project’s location, Breer said.

“We are very excited about these two projects, and more information will be coming as Chartwells and the university develop them.”