Global-inspired dining hall to open in 2020

Vice Provost for Graduate Education and SA President discuss Global Market Café


A new dining hall featuring a variety of authentic international cuisine is set to open in spring 2020.

The Global Market Café is the third and final phase of the Heart of the Campus initiative, which was established in 2012. The new dining location will serve as a “front door” to North Campus, connecting Flint Circle to Hamilton, according to Vice Provost for Graduate Education Graham Hammill, who is directing the project.

The design phase will be completed in April 2018, construction will begin in June 2018 and the project is set to be completed by spring 2020. The 23,000 square foot dining hall will be constructed between Capen and Norton and serve roughly 375 people at any given time. The Café will serve all three meals and students can use their meal swipes and Dining Dollars to purchase food. The $12 million project is funded by the Faculty-Senate Association (FSA) and $2 million will come from the SUNY Construction Fund. Construction is set to begin this summer.

The Global Market Café will “reflect and promote the international nature of UB,” according to Hammill.

The Global Market Café will feature several different food stations, each of which will serve “authentically prepared cuisine,” Hammill said. The kind of food served will be determined based on student input and menu options will be subject to change based on student demand. The Café will also highlight food and sustainability-related research.

“We’re looking for the food to be a reflection of the diversity on campus, so we are making sure we’re showcasing all the different types of cuisine around the world,” said Leslie Veloz, SA President. “And that we also simultaneously meet the needs of the student body with respect to having vegetarian, vegan and kosher options.”

UB Council Student Representative Mike Brown is pleased the Global Market Café will offer more diverse menu options, and allow students to use their meal plan, unlike in the Commons.

The planning process for the Café has been student-centric, according to Veloz.

“I think one of the beauties of the Global Market is that UB has really listened to what student leaders want and we’ve really been incorporated early on in the process,” Veloz said.

Students will have an opportunity to choose the Global Market Café’s official name. The planning committee plans to hold a contest sometime in the next year in which students can offer name ideas and vote for their favorite option.

The project has a steering committee, which oversees the design and construction process. The committee is made up of graduate and undergraduate students as well as faculty and staff. Veloz is the undergraduate representative and Interim Graduate Student Association President Jennifer Schechter is the graduate student representative.

“The idea is that this facility will be as much as possible designed by the UB community,” Hammill said.

The planning committee for the Global Market Café will give the UB community the opportunity to help “guide the design process” as part of a day-long student feedback event on Oct. 11. The event will feature four focus groups meeting on a rotating schedule at 9 a.m., 12 p.m., 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. in SU 210. The event is open to all students, faculty and staff.

There will also be a more “interactive” session taking place in the SU lobby. A variety of internationally inspired dishes will be served to give students a taste of what to expect from the global market café. Participants will take brief surveys on tablets and the design team will be fielding questions and seeking input about the project.

“The whole point of Heart of the Campus is to create spaces that really serve the campus and really serve the students,” Hammill said. “One of the things that this space will hopefully do is integrate dining with social life and learning.”

Hammill hopes the Global Market Café will serve as a location where TAs can meet with undergraduates or socialize with their peers. Currently, many graduate students do not feel they have a place to do these things, according to Hammill.

Veloz emphasized that the global market café will reflect undergraduate concerns.

“[The café] really incorporate[s] not just UB’s values, but student values,” Veloz said, “So that means having things like gender-neutral bathrooms and having spaces for differently abled students.”

Hammill believes this project will “transform” North Campus and unite the UB community.

Maddy Fowler is a news editor and can be reached at