Lydia’s Lounge serving lunch, low student response

Originally published November 12, 2010

Although Lydia’s Lounge has been open for lunch for the past two weeks and has had a positive response, many students are still unaware of the new option.

The opening of Lydia’s Lounge for lunch has been posted on the Food Services website and on Hilltop Happenings. However, students still seem unaware, or unresponsive.

This fact is obvious when a look into Lydia’s Lounge reveals only two or three seats filled at a time. The loudest noise in the room is the sound of the television tuned to ESPN, which is projected onto the overhead screen.

So far, the cafe has averaged about 50 students every day.

Although Lydia’s Lounge isn’t booming for business, a niche of students seem drawn to the cafe’s quiet and relaxed atmosphere. Sophomores Jori Lee and Bre Jones said they enjoyed having another lunch option as they ate sandwiches and salads at Lydia’s Lounge last Friday.

Jones said she found out about the cafe being open for lunch through her roommate.  She said she likes eating lunch there because it is healthier.

Lydia’s Lounge offers a full salad and sandwich bar, two soup options, dessert and a drink.

Both Lee and Jones said they are satisfied with the options, and they plan to come back to Lydia’s Lounge frequently.

Freshmen students living in University Hall won’t have to brave the outdoors and leave their residence hall to get lunch if they choose to eat in Lydia’s Lounge.

“I really appreciate having another option for food on campus, and since it’s in my building, I’m really looking forward to eating there on cold or rainy days when I don’t feel like going outside,” said freshman Kelsey Mayginnes.

Although Lydia’s Lounge may not see many customers currently while the weather is still nice, attendance is likely to go up when snow is on the ground.

The Lydia’s Lounge staff said they have noticed students’ compliments. Supervisor of Lydia’s Lounge Marla Kerrn said students enjoy eating lunch there because “it’s quiet; [students] can just sit and relax – they don’t have to scarf things down.”

Along with other advantages of Lydia’s Lounge, Director of Dining Services Ron Gibson said the cafe is also eco-friendly. “The to-go containers are all plant-based, with no Styrofoam,” Gibson said. “The whole place is green.”

Overall, the students who have eaten at Lydia’s Lounge said they are happy with it.

“The students that have joined us during the lunch period were all very happy,” Gibson said. “One stated it is a nice option for grabbing something quick and getting back to class.”

Although everyone seems satisfied, dining services is open to students’ opinions.

“We welcome all suggestions,” Gibson said. “This is another option for students, so we welcome any and all suggestions and ideas. Whatever we can do to make this a better experience for the campus community is the ultimate goal.”