The old kitchen in University Hall has new life on the weekends when it becomes the home of Lydia’s Late Night Food Service. Part of Lydia’s Lounge, Lydia’s Late Night is different from any other food service on campus because it’s run by students for students. The operation began in fall 2008.
“I don’t know of any other school in Illinois where students run a food service for other students,” said Dr. Martha Dallmeyer, assistant professor of family and consumer sciences.
Lydia’s Late Night serves as the lab portion of a required course for senior dietetics majors. Students work with Eurest Dining Services, Bradley’s food service provider, to order, store, and cook the food to order. The students must be certified to follow sanitation regulations.
Students work five nights a semester from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m., or until cleanup and inventory is complete. Lydia’s Late Night is open from 8 p.m. to midnight Friday through Sunday, providing students with a place to eat on the weekends, since the cafeterias are closed Saturday and Sunday evenings.
Student organizations are encouraged to sponsor events in Lydia’s Lounge and utilize Lydia’s Late Night. Themed menus are planned for special events. “We get into the fun, too,” said Dallmeyer. For example, typical tailgating food is served during football games on Sunday evenings.
“The food lends itself to a ‘bar’ atmosphere without being a bar,” said Student Activities Director Michelle Whited.
The menu is different every weekend, but there are a few staples, like puppy chow, brownies, fries, and fresh fruit. The most popular items are chicken wings, burgers, and mozzarella sticks, according to SABA ZAHID ’10 and AMY SCHUSTER ’10.
“Hopefully this will give me more of a well-rounded perspective on what it takes to run a full operation, especially from a financial point of view,” said Schuster.
“I have learned that it takes a lot of time, effort, care, and knowledge to run a food service system,” added Zahid.
KELLY EVOLA ’11 worked at Lydia’s Late Night last year and chose to return for an internship. “This has been a great opportunity for me to take advantage of gaining experience in food service,” she said. “I am walking away with leadership skills, management and teamwork skills, plus a deeper knowledge of what to expect when working in the service. … I am excited when I go into work.”
Students returned to campus in January to find several changes to the Cullom-Davis Library, including a name for the coffee shop that opened last fall, The Stacks. The popular cafe serves Starbucks coffee and pastries, as well as snack foods. A grant from the Office for Teaching Excellence and Faculty Development enabled the Library to purchase eight Kindle electronic book readers. Kindles are available for students, faculty, and staff to check out for one week at a time, as the Library works on building an electronic book library. Other improvements include the addition of the Gallery of Excellence (see bradley.edu/academic/galleryofexcellence), a card-swipe entry system for Library access after 10 p.m., and new projectors, screens, and computer monitors.