The smell of freshly grilled hamburgers and hot French fries wafted through the air, luring students from the University Hall lobby into Lydia’s Lounge last Friday night.
Spotlights hung from the ceiling illuminating the stage in the far corner of the lounge. A band set up a drum kit, guitars and amps on stage. Students sat at the 10 or 15 tables surrounding the stage playing board games and chatting with one another.
Food Services partnered with the Family Consumer Sciences Department to bring students a new hangout on the weekends.
This new snack bar is located in Lydia’s Lounge in U-Hall. It is open Friday through Sunday from 8 p.m. until midnight. The bar offers a collection of late night snacks such as hamburgers, grilled cheese, fries, onion rings, chips and bottled soft drinks and water. Lydia’s Lounge accepts meal plans, QuickCash, credit or debit cards and cash.
FCS is also working in tandem with Activities Council to provide entertainment on the stage in Lydia’s Lounge on the weekends. At the opening night of the snack bar last Friday, The Fools on the Hill performed as well as the Bradley Jazz Combo and then singer/songwriter Jared Bartman.
Forty to 50 students milled around the lounge all night. Some would leave between sets, but there was a consistent crowd throughout the night.
“It’s nice to have a place that is open at this time of the night,” senior business management major Emily Thompson said.
Students said they also seemed to enjoy the available snacks.
“I will definitely come here at night, since it is the only place open at this time and the food is good,” freshman studio art photography major Jasmin Garcia said. “I had a grilled cheese.”
The students who are majoring in FCS use the snack bar as a lab.
“Everything students learn in class they get to apply,” Marti Dallmeyer, a faculty member from the FCS department, said. “The students help with making the food, they learn how to order it, take inventory and store everything. They help organize and staff the facility. It is students preparing food for students. The end goal is to have the students run [the snack bar] themselves.”
The kitchen in the back of Lydia’s Lounge is furnished with a walk-in refrigerator, freezer, grills, a giant soup kettle and fryers. Although the amenities were available for two years, the space was unused.
Director of Food Services Ron Gibson said he got in touch with the FCS department to see what could be done with the unused kitchen.
Students who attended the opening night of the snack bar said they thought the arrangement was a great idea.
“I like the stage and that there is a local place for students to perform,” junior journalism major Nancy Lasswell said. “I will definitely come back.”
And some students said they are happy local musicians have a place to perform.
“I like that Lydia’s got a place for the dirty Fools to get down,” English major Erica Schwager said.