Due to general student demand for increased dining options, Georgetown will dramatically revamp its campus dining services in the upcoming academic year, as a new food service company will transform O’Donovan Dining Hall, the long-awaited restaurant in Darnall Hall will open and campus meal plan options will change.

After 32 years, Marriott Corporation will no longer provide the food served in on-campus dining halls. Georgetown has signed a five-year contract with ARAMARK Higher Education, which took effect July 1, according to the university’s Web site.

In conjunction with ARAMARK’s arrival, O’Donovan Hall will undergo a massive conversion to begin during the upcoming winter break. University spokesperson Julie Bataille said that the top level would be turned into six serving locations with different themes, including a Latin station, a Mediterranean kitchen, an Asian/Mongolian grill, a stand serving fresh produce and American-style food, a bake shop and a beverage station. The lower level, which will be known as “Leo’s Down-Under,” will contain four more dining options – Barracas Italian Bistro, Rolling Pin Coffeehouse, Lean & Green and Leo’s Diner, which will serve breakfast all day.

New carts located around campus will allow students to purchase Grab-and-Go meals without trekking to O’Donovan Hall, Bataille said. Grab-and-Go menu options will also be increased, she added.

Karen Cutler, director of communications for ARAMARK, said O’Donovan Hall will be remodeled but seating capacity will remain approximately the same. Proposed diagrams provided by Bataille showed food serving areas on both levels in roughly the same places as they are now. Plans for the bottom floor showed the coffeehouse as a round stand in the center of the room. Bataille said nutritional displays, detailing the content of the food being served as well as tips for healthy living, will be installed.

While the renovations to the cafeteria will not begin under after the fall semester, menu changes will begin immediately, Bataille said.

On-campus dining options will be further expanded with the opening of Epicurean and Co. on the first floor of Darnall. The restaurant will be operated by restaurateur C.W. Chon, who runs more than a dozen restaurants, including one by the same name on Connecticut Avenue. Bataille described the establishment as an upscale sit-down and take-out restaurant. It will have a liquor license and be open to the public.

Plans for a restaurant in Darnall have been in the works since 2005, when its cafeteria closed its doors. Chon was chosen by the university to open a restaurant last year, but lease negotiations stalled construction.

The university will also offer different meal plans starting this semester, Bataille said. She said they would be available in detail online this week.

To add flexibility to students’ meal plans, the university will introduce GODollars, which can be spent at Epicurean and Co. (the restaurant will not accept meals from meal plans) and some other eating establishments on campus. Different meal plans will include different GODollar amounts.

“There will be [a] small, annual price adjustment from last year but nothing impacted by these increased services,” Bataille said in an e-mail.

Bataille said the changes in the dining system were brought about by requests from students for more flexibility in dining options. Students had the opportunity to complete an online survey on the university’s food services last semester.

According to Bataille, the future of the widely popular “Chicken Finger Thursdays” is in doubt. “We’ll ask students whether or not they want Chicken Finger Thursdays to remain and take that into account,” she said.

ARAMARK and Epicurean and Co. will provide catering for on-campus functions except those that take place in the Leavey Center, which Marriott will continue to cater, Bataille said. arriott will maintain its operation of its on-campus hotel and conference center, according to Patrick Hardy, director of hotel sales at the Georgetown University Conference Center.

Bataille said all current dining service employees will be offered similar jobs by ARAMARK. The company also plans to hire 40 to 50 additional employees to handle the expanded food offerings at O’Donovan Hall.

Associate Vice President for Auxiliary Services Margie Bryant, who oversees the university’s contract with ARAMARK and arriott, declined to comment for this article.

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