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Culinary Services debuts OHIO’s newest dining destination

West Green Market District houses five micro-restaurants, new market concepts


Ohio University Culinary Services has spent the past eight years expanding its service offerings and renovating its venues – all in an effort to elevate students’ on-campus dining experience. This semester saw those efforts reach a new milestone with the opening of a renamed and remodeled market and dining destination on the Athens Campus’ West Green.

“This is it,” Gwyn Scott, associate vice president for auxiliaries, said of the new West Green Market District, formerly known as Boyd Dining Hall. “This is the cutting edge and what university food service providers are striving to be.”

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Ohio University students hang out inside the entrance to the recently opened West Green Market District. OHIO’s newest dining venue opened on Aug. 22 after about nine months of renovations spearheaded by general contractor Setterlin Building Co. in cooperation with design firm Davis Wince and mechanical, electrical and plumbing services engineer Korda. Photo courtesy of Scott Peese Photography

Boyd Dining Hall closed in December 2014 to allow for the approximately $12 million renovation – the first major renovation to the dining venue since it opened its doors in the late 1960s. The renovation was funded entirely through Culinary Services, which spearheaded the project in conjunction with OHIO’s Department of Architecture, Design and Construction. 

The West Green Market District, a state-of-the-art dining venue housing five micro-restaurants and other amenities unique to its location, opened to the OHIO community on Aug. 22. 

“‘Wow.’ I think that’s the one word I’ve heard the most,” Dennis Washington, general manager of the West Green Market District, said when asked how OHIO students have responded to the new venue. 

Located on the first floor of Boyd Hall, the West Green Market District houses two distinct service spaces – the Boyd Market and a restaurant-style dining area.

A major market makeover

An updated and expanded version of the former Boyd Market, the new Boyd Market provides the campus with what Kent Scott, associate director of auxiliary operations, called “a miniature grocery store that focuses on more wholesome and fresh products.” Offering everything from freshly baked goods to frozen food items, the market also debuts two concepts new to Culinary Services and the Athens Campus – the Veggie Butcher and Smooth Moves.

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The Veggie Butcher in the new Boyd Market is the first of its kind on the Athens Campus. Photo courtesy of Mark Brunton

The Veggie Butcher allows customers to select whole fruits or vegetables, which they then take to a counter to be washed, processed to their specifications, weighed and tagged for purchase. It’s a concept that is building on both the success Culinary Services has seen with adding fresh produce at Nelson Court and its desire to offer OHIO students healthier eating options. And, it’s been a concept that’s been well received by Bobcats.

“We’ve heard a lot of very positive feedback,” Kent Scott said. “And we’ve seen fantastic sales so far.”

The market’s other new concept, Smooth Moves, is enjoying success as well. The Athens Campus’ only fresh juice and smoothie bar, Smooth Moves embodies Culinary Services’ commitment to offering students healthier and expanded meal options.

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Fresh fruit greets customers as they enter the Boyd Market, which houses Smooth Moves, an area that features healthy beverages made with real fruit. Photo courtesy of Scott Peese Photography 

According to Gwyn Scott, the smoothies made at Smooth Moves are intended to be meal replacement smoothies rather than dessert smoothies. Culinary Services consulted with Jason White, a former OHIO assistant professor of exercise physiology who has worked with professional athletes, on the supplements and protein powders that can be added to the smoothies made at Smooth Moves. 

In addition, Culinary Services is allowing those on University meal plans to use meal swipes at Smooth Moves, providing a meal option outside of the dining venue’s traditional meal hours.

“By allowing Smooth Moves to be used as a restaurant for meal replacement, we’re extending the meal periods,” Gwyn Scott noted. 

A culinary transformation

Moving inside the once traditional dining area of the West Green Market District, it is clear to see why Culinary Services opted to drop the traditional “Boyd Dining Hall” title. What was once a cafeteria-style dining hall has been transformed into a culinary destination offering both a modern look and feel and a variety of healthy eating options.

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Carver’s Cut is one of five micro-restaurants available at the West Green Market District and features equipment, including an Evo grill and rotisserie, unique to this Culinary Services’ venue. Photo by Jasmine Beaubien

The dining venue features five micro-restaurants, including:

  • Carver’s Cut, offering two options of low-fat baked and roasted meats daily, both rotisserie and Churrasco (barbeque) style; a vegetarian entrée; two vegetables; and dessert
  • Between the Bread, featuring two soups, a sandwich of the day, custom deli sandwiches, and debuting new technology that allows customers to place their orders through electronic kiosks that provide for a faster dining experience
  • Destinations, offering a variety of international cuisine options, including four kinds of hummus and toppings, freshly made naan and pita bread, two kinds of rice, and an international dish of the day
  • Noodled, providing two varieties of pastas and sauces and offering a new take on Boyd Dining Hall’s wok bar that allows customers to select their protein, vegetables and sauces, which are then cooked by the venue’s staff in view of the customer
  • Margaret’s, a gluten-friendly area that caters to customers with special dietary needs (named in honor of Margaret Boyd, OHIO’s first female graduate and Boyd Hall’s namesake)

“We designed this venue in a way that will make our customers feel like they are in a restaurant,” Washington said. “Each area has its own unique seating, including large family-style tables, and everything you see in each area is themed around that micro-restaurant.”

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Student Allyson Miller places her order at the new Noodled micro-restaurant at the West Green Market District. Photo by Jasmine Beaubien

Complementing these micro-restaurants are more traditional dining hall options, such as a cold cereal station, as well as traditional elements that have been taken to a new level. For example, the old Boyd Dining Hall offered a traditional salad bar; the new West Green Market District offers an area dubbed “West Greens” where customers can help themselves to a variety of fruit-infused waters, a selection of fresh fruit, a full salad bar, a salad of the day, and two soups.

Designed for students and with the help of students

“Our overarching goal was to renovate one of our last traditional dining venues in a way that would exceed the expectations of our students,” Gwyn Scott explained, noting that the renovation focused on three key areas: 

  • Healthy options. Visitors to the West Green Market District may notice the absence of fryers and the presence of only one soda machine. 
  • Nutritional education. Culinary Services has partnered with OHIO’s College of Health Sciences and Professions to share a full-time registered dietitian, Angela Bohyer, who teaches at the college half-time and serves as Culinary Service’s nutrition educator the other half. In her role with Culinary Services, Bohyer is tasked with not only providing input on the foods served at OHIO’s dining venues but also with interacting with students to help them choose foods that will properly fuel their bodies and minds. It’s an effort designed to extend OHIO’s educational experience beyond the traditional classroom.
  • Local. The West Green Market District is committed to providing as many local products as possible and to preparing whole foods in a healthy way – a commitment that means less processed food choices and more cooking and food preparation that is being conducted in front of the customer, rather than behind walls.
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Salad bars are a staple of many university dining facilities, but West Greens at the West Green Market District has taken the traditional salad bar to a whole new level. Photo courtesy of Scott Peese Photography

Guiding the renovation process was input from Ohio University students as well as benchmarking tours.

“First and foremost, we have to give credit to the Culinary Services Development Committee (CSDC), which is our student-led focus group,” Gwyn Scott said. “They are our connection to the students, short of the input we gather on a daily basis through operations and interactions with students in general.”

Gwyn Scott noted that in planning for the renovation Culinary Services ran ideas and concepts by the CSDC for student input. That feedback, combined with input from OHIO’s new executive chef, Jeff Arthur, was instrumental in developing the venue’s menu. 

After incorporating the food court concept at Baker University Center, Shively Court and Nelson Court, Gwyn Scott said Culinary Services was feeling the need to step outside the box and to do something that other universities were not doing.

“It’s good to catch up with the Joneses, but we felt the need to catch up with the restaurant industry,” she said. 

That drive to take student dining where other universities had not, led Culinary Services off campus to explore the latest trends in the food service industry. Culinary Services representatives traveled to New York City to visit more than 30 restaurants and to Columbus to look at about 10 restaurants there.

“We hit everything,” said Rich Neumann, director of Culinary Services. “In addition to going to New York and Columbus, we looked at other universities to benchmark, and we even went to the Honda plant in Marysville – that’s where we came up with the design for our dish room.”

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Ohio University student Erica Haas places her order at the electronic kiosk at Between the Bread. This new system of ordering is unique to the West Green Market District, but Mark Brunton, interim assistant director of auxiliaries marketing and communications, said it’s a concept he believes will be expanded to other dining venues on the Athens Campus. Photo by Jasmine Beaubien

“In bringing back to the Athens Campus these trends in the food industry, we’re now leading our industry,” Gwyn Scott added.

New venue opens to rave reviews, increased numbers

More than a month after opening the doors to the West Green Market District, it appears as though Culinary Services has met its goal of exceeding students’ expectations. 

Annie Robinson, a student studying strategic communication, lived on West Green during her first year at OHIO and often ate at the former Boyd Dining Hall. Now a sophomore, Robinson said she continues to visit the venue and is impressed with the new West Green Market District.

“It is much better, and I especially like that there are more healthy options,” Robinson said. When asked what she enjoys most about the West Green Market District, Robinson said, “The rotisserie chicken – they have it every day and it’s really good.”

Brandon Grieve, a junior majoring in civil engineering, admitted that before this year he had never gone to the dining venue at Boyd Hall because he hadn’t heard great things about it. That all changed with the opening of the West Green Market District.

“It’s really good, and it offers a lot of different choices,” Grieve said. “I like the variety, and the place looks great!”

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Students Adrienne Erford and Olivia Dykes visit while finishing their lunches at the West Green Market District. According to Rich Neumann, director of Culinary Services, this new dining venue does not include televisions – a design decision aimed at fostering an environment that encourages customers to socialize. Photo by Jasmine Beaubien

It’s a sentiment that has been shared by the faculty, staff, alumni and parents who have visited the facility. 

“During fall move-in, some students came here with their parents,” said Gwyn Scott. “It was great to hear the parents say, ‘You have no idea how good you have it.’”

And, according to Neumann, the number of people being served at the West Green Market District confirms that the venue is being well-received.

“In the first three weeks that we’ve been open, our traffic is up 44 percent over this time last year. Right now, we’re averaging about 2,500 meals per day at this venue,” Neumann said. “Overall, our off-campus meal plans are up 15 percent over last year and our faculty/staff meal plans are up 114 percent year to date, which really speaks to the quality of our venues and the service we provide because these are individuals who aren’t required to buy a meal plan.”

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Student Jeremy Behnken helps himself to a cone of strawberry frozen yogurt at the West Green Market District. Photo by Jasmine Beaubien

Students aren’t the only ones who are enjoying this new culinary experience on campus. The staff at the West Green Market District is embracing the changing work environment as well.

“This entire experience has exposed our entire team to new cooking techniques, new equipment, new recipes, new foods and a new way of connecting with our customers,” said Gwyn Scott. “With the change in design, our staff is no longer hidden behind the walls; there are opportunities for them to interact with the students, guests and customers. It’s changed how they were accustomed to working. It’s been an adventure, and I think that they have been very receptive to all the change and seeing the customers’ reactions is really encouraging them.”

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This infographic, provided by Culinary Services, shows the layout of the new West Green Market District.


Stephanie Wolf contributed to this article.

Culinary Services hiring students for 2015-16 year

Culinary Services prides itself on being the largest student employer at Ohio University, offering Bobcats a chance to earn a paycheck without leaving campus in an environment that works around their class schedules.

Culinary Services employs approximately 2,100 students at venues throughout OHIO’s Athens Campus. 

Culinary Services is seeking Ohio University and area high school students to fill a number of positions on campus, including at the new West Green Market District. For more information, click here

Culinary Services’ mobile app aims to keep OHIO in the know

As Ohio University Culinary Services expands its service offerings, it continuously seeks out ways to inform and connect with students, faculty, staff and guests.

Its latest effort to do just that comes in the form of a mobile app that was launched over the summer.

The new OHIO Culinary Services app is available for iOS and Android devices and allows users to access everything from hours of operation for all of Culinary Service’s venues to location maps with GPS navigation to social media feeds, menu links and nutrition information, coupons, alerts, meal plan information and more.

According to Mark Brunton, interim assistant director of auxiliaries marketing and communications, the app has seen tremendous growth since it was launched in July.

“The first month it was released we had 300 users,” Brunton said. “At this point, we’re over 2,000 downloads and users and 62,000 page hits.” 

The app is available for free download by clicking here

Related Links

Culinary Services