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Campus eatery undergoes transformation
A new hangout spot welcomed students as they returned from winter break to discover the Rathskellar had been renovated and renamed The Bobcat Den.
The eatery was painted, all menu signs were changed to match the bobcat theme and logos of the bobcat were placed in various parts of the Bobcat Den. Chartwells purchased new uniforms for the servers to wear to support the transformation. A few bobcat-related names were added to a few featured menu items, as well.
To make students feel at home, enlarged photos of Midnight Madness and sporting events were placed on the walls.
“Pictures were given to the Den by the athletic department, which proudly display our students. The score board replica and the Bobcat Den signs add a wonderful flare to the whole building,” Chris Schumacher, director of the Bobcat Den, said.
A committee met several times, consisting of Nelson DeFigueiredo, Joe Tobin, John Meriano, Lynn Bushnell, Jack McDonald, Bob Bisighini, Joanne Leddy, Louis Fronte, Maria Bimonte and Mark Volpe, the painter.
According to Schumacher, Bob Bisighini was the most instrumental person in charge of renovating the Den, and ultimately the one to say yes to the project.
Volpe Painting did all of the painting the Bobcat signs, a significant touch to The Den’s atmosphere.
“I feel the Bobcat Den draws an incredible amount of students already, and for those people, the changes are well received and appreciated,” Schumacher said. “I think students that don’t stop by will hear about the incredible changes that Chartwells and Quinnipiac are bringing about. Ultimately that can result in more students visiting the Bobcat Den.”
Schumacher feels the student photographs are an important part of the new look.
“The pictures are actually something that I have wanted to do for some time. With the remodeling and subsequent name change, the pictures seemed to be a perfect fit,” he said.
Schumacher said the committee felt the integration of students was important, and the pictures were a great way to represent that.
“I would thank Jack McDonald and Leanne Spalding for expediting the picture thing,” he said.
Although a surprise for most, students seemed enthusiastic about the transformation.
“The students are very excited about the changes and are most appreciative. [I have received] all positive comments from all of the students I have talked to. I believe it brings the whole community together a little bit more,” Schumacher said.
In addition to having a nicer atmosphere, the change promotes Quinnipiac pride.
“It’s great for the school spirit – almost tying people together that may have not been before. This is a place for the whole student body to meet, eat and talk about sports, TV [and] school; a place that Quinnipiac students can use to relax after a long day of school ,work, practice, etc., sit back and let our staff take care of you. This place exudes school spirit and unity. It lends a friendly stress-free atmosphere where you can grab some eats and go or stay and mingle,” he said.
The variety and constant update of the menu is one thing the Den prides itself on.
Schumacher said, “We are constantly coming up with new menu items. We currently work off a menu cycle and are constantly upgrading to meet the needs and desires of our student body. We take extreme pride in what we do here. At the Bobcat Den, our staff is dedicated to the wants and needs of all our customers.”
Schumacher said The Den takes great strides to ensure student’s needs are listened to and then acted on immediately.
“We go above and beyond for any customer and for that I am extremely proud,” he said.
The food at the Bobcat Den is prepared daily. Students can choose from fresh salads, sushi, wraps, muffins, pizza and many other specialties.
Schumacher said although some foods are indeed greasy, there are a wide variety of options to satisfy those who do not care to indulge.
“We cater to pretty much everyone’s needs; vegetarians, health conscious and those who desire the fried items. There are approximately 2000 people who flow through our doors on a given day [and] we are completely dedicated to satisfying the needs of all our customers.”
Although Schumacher feels successful thus far, he is still looking to improve.
“Our goal is to continue the outstanding service we already provide and to constantly strive to become better and better at what we do here at the Bobcat Den,” Schumacher said.
Schumacher offered a sneak preview of a few things to expect in the future, such as wireless access and new seating in the coffee shop. Chartwells renovated the coffee shop and the deli area last year.
“We will continue to expand our menus to accommodate all who travel through our doors as we do now [and] we will continue to build on the excellent relationship that myself and the staff has with the entire Quinnipiac community.”