As part of Washington University in St. Louis’ broader efforts to partner with St. Louis businesses, University Dining Services has invited four local restaurants that are minority- or woman-owned to open locations at campus eateries in August.
Beast Craft BBQ will serve St. Louis-style barbecue in Parkside Cafe. Owned by David and Meggan Sandusky, Beast Craft BBQ operates a restaurant in Belleville, Ill., and a food truck. Parkside also will serve coffee from LaJoy’s Coffee Cafe, a woman-owned business.
Collins Farms will have a build-your-own-salad station, pita sandwiches, smoothies and baked goods in the Law Cafe in Anheuser-Busch Hall. Collins Farms is based in Edwardsville, Ill., and is owned by sisters Sophie and Annie Gianaris.
Corner 17 will serve a variety of boba tea, Chinese dumplings, bao buns and traditional Chinese desserts in Whispers Cafe in Olin Library. Coffee drinks also will be available. Corner 17 is on the Delmar Loop and is owned by Xin Wei, a graduate of Olin Business School, and his sister Rachel Wei.
The Fattened Caf will offer Filipino barbecue plates, vegetarian entrees, breakfast dishes and Filipino desserts at Bytes Cafe in McKelvey Hall. Bytes also will continue to offer its Starbucks menu. The Fattened Caf currently operates out of Earthbound Brewing on Cherokee Street and is owned by Charlene Lopez Young and Darren Young.
All locations will offer grab-and-go kosher and halal items and accept meal points, Bear Bucks and credit cards.
Shantay N. Bolton, executive vice chancellor for administration and chief administration officer, said the community-based dining program serves two important goals: to provide the WashU community a variety of delicious, high-quality and healthy dining options and to support St. Louis businesses, specifically those that are owned by women or minorities. Currently, four female or minority-owned restaurants operate on campus — Fuji San, which serves poke bowls and sushi at Stanley’s in Lopata Hall; Coffeestamp, which serves from-scratch empanadas at Grounds for Change in Hillman Hall; Café Rosedale, which offers breakfast and lunch items on West Campus; and Subway, which serves sandwiches.
“Our WashU Dining Services team has long prioritized supporting local businesses, from farmers and bakers to restaurants and food trucks,” Bolton said. “Our growing community-based dining program builds on that momentum, delivering an exceptional experience to our students while demonstrating WashU’s commitment to be in St. Louis, for St. Louis.”
Meanwhile, the university is remodeling two other dining locations — Ibby’s and Cafe Bergson in the Danforth University Center, both of which will be operated by new food service partner Sodexo.
Jason McClellan, assistant vice chancellor for university services, said Dining Services, in consultation with Supplier Diversity, solicited and evaluated proposals from a variety of locally owned restaurants. Finalists presented their proposals and food to students and staff members at campus taste testings.
“The restaurants were rated on quality, taste, even smell,” said McClellan, who said the restaurants will host a grand opening celebration in the coming months. “The feedback was outstanding. I think the rest of our WashU community will really enjoy the diversity of our new options.”