The new, waterfront Hampton University Dining Hall is complete. The two-story facility overlooks the Hampton River and gives diners an exquisite view of Downtown Hampton. The space, which received its first diners in August, replaces the Virginia Cleveland cafeterias.
HU initiated a $25 million campaign to build the new cafeteria in October 2006. Through many generous donations from alumni, ground was broken on the 100,000 square foot, dining hall in September 2010. One form of donation for the cafeteria was the purchasing of glass panels for $5,000, which could bear individual or groups of names. Donors' names are etched on the windowpanes.
In recent months, students have attempted to gauge what might be inside the new eating area, considering its large size. The inside of the cafeteria has two floors for student dining, and there are booths, tables, and a high top bar overlooking the river. In addition to eating space inside the facility, there's also an outdoor terrace for students to eat when weather permits.
And then, there's the food. The food stations include cook to order food, fast food, a fresh market salad bar with seasoned salads and oriental vegetables, an All-American deli, and a grill, giving students a wide variety from which to choose. Each station has a catchy title pertaining to life on the sea as a pirate, such as Sweets Ahoy, Buccaneer Breakfast, Captain's Grille, and Treasure Island.
Though students are anxious to experience the new eatery, the Virginia Cleveland dining hall is where students have sat, shared meals, and created lifelong memories since 1874. However, new memories await in the more modern edifice. A ribbon cutting for the facility is Sept. 8.
- Kiarra Sylvester