One World Café, the highly-anticipated three-story international-themed eatery located just outside of Capen Hall which has been under construction since 2019, will open to students on the first day of classes — with a twist.
The café will undergo a “soft opening” on Jan. 31, meaning students, faculty and staff will have access to the space’s seating and meeting areas, but not to the actual dining portion of the café, which won’t open to the public until late March, according to a university press release.
The soft opening will commence on the first day of the spring semester and will act as the starting point for One World Café’s “phased opening,” which is slated to take place over the course of several months, according to the university. Students will have access to the café’s seating areas, which will grant a growing student population another place to relax, study and meet up with peers on campus.
“We expect One World will not only be a place to dine, but a place to gather and be part of the campus community,” Vice President for Student Life Brian Hamluk said in the release. “We want students to be able to get in, look around and feel comfortable.”
The $38 million café is the brainchild of the “Heart of the Campus” campaign, a UB 2020 initiative that sought to enhance the “learning landscape” in the academic spine. Originally slated to open in spring 2020, the university has in the years since pointed to spring 2022 as the café’s most likely opening date.
Last semester, a Campus Dining and Shops spokesperson told The Spectrum that while the café doesn’t have a set opening date, it is scheduled to open this spring.
The second portion of the café’s phased opening is set to take place around the end of March, with the opening of two restaurants: “Kali Orexi,” which will offer foods from Middle Eastern countries, Turkey and Greece, and “Tikka Table,” which will offer foods from different parts of India.
CDS will have to contend with a nationwide labor shortage in order to staff its new eateries. As The Spectrum reported last semester, students dealt with long lines, limited hours and multiple closures throughout the fall semester.
“We are still dealing with the national labor shortage that impacted campus dining during the fall semester,” Eric Blackledge, executive director of Campus Dining & Shops, said in the press release.
OWC also boasts “The 1846 Grill,” which will serve American comfort food, “Pan Asian,” which will serve dishes from Asian countries like China, Korea and Taiwan, and “The Noodle Pavilion,” an eatery serving Japanese owl-style meals,which the university says should open by the fall semester.
In the interim, students can look forward to “Tasting Tuesdays” and “Touring Thursdays,” which will take place throughout the month of February.
The university says this will provide students with insight into how One World Café will operate once it is completed.
Kayla Estrada is an assistant news/features editor and can be reached at email@example.com
Kayla Estrada is a senior news/features editor at The Spectrum. She is an English major who enjoys rainy weather, “Bob’s Burgers” and asking people who they voted for. When she’s not writing, she can be found hunting for odd-looking knick-knacks at the nearest thrift store.