Renovated eateries open for new year

Camille Anglo

As Sacramento State students return from summer vacation, they will notice the recently renovated eateries as well as two new places for students and staff to purchase food.

Good Eats! and Epicure Restaurant at Sacramento State are some of the new eateries alongside the renovated Riverfront Center and Round Table Pizza.

Good Eats!, which opened Aug. 27, is a replacement of Du Jour’s food cart at the former University Center Restaurant. The new eatery provides organic, made-to-order alternatives to fast food, such as fresh tossed salads and hand carved meats.

Executive director of University Enterprises, Inc. Jim Reinhardt said the menu is still expanding and is similar to what was offered at Du Jour’s.

“Good Eats! is made-to-order sandwiches and salads,” said Reinhardt. “The menu is still being added to, but we have plans to offer soup. All of the products that were offered at Du Jour’s will still be available at Good Eats!, but at a higher quality and fresher since they are made-to-order.”

Director of marketing services of UEI Angela Rader said Good Eats! will also offer an array of sides such as macaroni and cheese, steamed seasonal vegetables and mashed potatoes.

Ethnic studies senior Lupe Peña said she is delighted Sac State is providing fresher and healthier alternatives other than the typical fast food fare.

“I like the idea of it being organic and actually having something healthy at school besides pizza, burgers and Panda (Express),” said Peña. “It’s really hard for a college student to stay on a healthy track when you have a lot of school and a lot of work.”

Another new eatery addition is Epicure Restaurant at Sacramento State, formerly known as University Center Restaurant. Epicure Restaurant went under a number of renovations to fix the restaurant’s indoor and outdoor dining areas.

“It was dated and dark, so we have moved the private dining room, which was receiving the light and preventing the main dining room from getting light,” Reinhardt said. “The outside dining room had a canopy that added to the dark feel inside. We took down the walls for the private dining room and moved it to a corner and enclosed it in glass. It will be a glassed-in dining room with curtains.”

Not only did the décor of the restaurant receive an upgrade, but it was also renamed to represent a new change and feel of the direction UEI wanted to go in, said Rader.

“I think of terms of what we wanted to create with…the University Center Restaurant, we wanted to bring about the full change in terms of the new brand representing something that is a little more appealing to the student population as well as the faculty and staff,” said Rader.

What stands out as much as the new restaurants are the obvious revamp of both Round Table Pizza in the University Union and the dining rooms at Riverfront Center. The green walls of both places have been repainted white and the wood furnishings have been updated with modern furniture. The space was also renovated in compliance to ADA accessibility.

Public relations senior Dan Blanco said he feels the remodeling of the Riverfront Center effectively utilizes the space to seat more students than before.

“It wasn’t really efficient for holding as many students as possible and this clearly can hold more people with way more tables and way more chairs and such,” said Blanco.

With the renovation of the Riverfront Center, Round Table Pizza at the University Union also received a long awaited update changing its entire interior from a sports bar to something reminiscent of an Ikea catalogue.

Interior design senior Rahmi Karajeh said the recent redesign of Round Table Pizza takes away from its unique characteristics as a hangout for Sac State students.

“My main issue with the design direction is that they have totally diverged from the Hive’s identity,” Karajeh said. “I don’t disagree with the intent, I mean we can all agree that the Hive definitely needed some updating, but I’m not convinced this was the best possible execution. From a design standpoint, there are ways to successfully update a space without completely diverging from its original glory.”

Business management senior Jarrod Banks said the renovations to Round Table Pizza leaves it barely looking like a shadow of its former self.

“The main thing with Round Table is that it’s pizza and beer,” said Banks. “People want to go there to hang out and watch sports. The place now, the metal chairs, it’s not conducive to the place. It was old, it was aged and it had a nice feel to it. Now, it feels like a jail cell cafeteria.”

Despite the design criticisms, Peña said she likes the new appearance of Round Table Pizza and feels it is a new beginning for the restaurant.

“[Round Table] looks cleaner, fresher with a new start,” said Peña. “I feel like it was old and it seems like the school is getting up to date and I’m really excited for that. It looks more like the future, like Sac State is now catching up to 2012.”

Reinhardt said the updates didn’t use state funds, student fees or taxpayer dollars, but was seen as a reinvestment with UEI and the operations so they could better provide for the Sac State population.

“If a restaurant doesn’t periodically refresh its furnishings and offerings, they will lose customers,” Reinhardt said. “We’ve reinvested in these businesses and these restaurants to make sure we’re providing good service to the campus community.”