Café Spice to Reopen; New Dining Locations Planned for Campus

Several new dining locations are expected to arrive on campus in the new Sloan School, the new Koch Institute building, and Pritchett Dining, during next 18 months.

And Café Spice, which sells Indian food in the student center’s Lobdell Food Court will reopen in October with an updated menu and new management.

Plans are underway for a Chinese restaurant to open in Pritchett, said Rich D. Berlin III, director of campus dining.

The idea of reopening Pritchett for service was coupled with the permanent closing this summer of dinner service at the Forbes Family Café in the Stata Center, said Berlin. According to Berlin, surveys conducted by Campus Dining in the past indicated that there was a high demand for Chinese cuisine on campus, especially food that could be purchased with TechCash and delivered to dorms.

In July, Berlin sent an e-mail addressed to the students and housemasters of East Campus and Senior House announcing the plans and asking for suggestions for potential operators. The process of installing a new dining location takes about three to six months, said Berlin. He is working on a Request for Proposal for the proposed operation, which will set expectations for the new restaurant and solicit proposals from interested operators. Still, there is no set timeline for the development of Pritchett Dining.

Berlin said the dining facilities planned for the new Sloan and Koch Institute buildings will ideally open when the buildings do, but that construction projects may run over deadline. According to the MIT Facilities website, the new Sloan Building, E62, will be suitable for occupancy before the fall term of 2010, and the Koch Institute in the winter of 2010-2011.

Food service providers have not been chosen for either site. However, E62 is being constructed with facilities to outfit a food court featuring numerous stations, including a soup and salad bar, breakfast grill, stir-fry range, two sandwich lines, and prepared “grab-and-go” options. Adjacent to the food court will be a dining room that seats 200. A private “executive dining room” and buffet will also open in E62, but will not be accessible to students. When the new locations open, the Refresher Course Café in E52 and the Bio Café in Building 58 will close.

Café Spice’s updated menu will feature kathi rolls, a type of Indian wrap, and new main dishes. Café Spice received approval from Campus Dining for its new menu offerings and pricing. According to Berlin, the restaurant was temporarily closed in May by its parent company, which thought that menu options had remained static for too long. The parent company will now run the restaurant directly instead of licensing it out.