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New Jefferson Marketplace to open Jan. 25 (PHOTOS)


For nearly 60 years, Bobcats have been sharing meals at Ohio University’s Jefferson Hall. This week, the OHIO community will be welcomed into a new culinary experience within this historic East Green building – an experience that will usher in an entirely new way of serving the University.

Ohio University Culinary Services will open the new Jefferson Marketplace at 7 a.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 25, unveiling a new culinary destination designed to serve both the on- and off-campus communities and featuring a number of firsts on the Athens Campus.

“We have really pushed the limits with this project,” said Kent Scott, associate director of operations for OHIO Auxiliaries. “We’re branching out so that we reach as many members of the Ohio University community as we can.”

A new glass storefront at the northeast corner of Jefferson Hall awaits the OHIO community when Jefferson Marketplace opens on Wednesday, Jan. 25.

A new glass storefront at the northeast corner of Jefferson Hall awaits the OHIO community when Jefferson Marketplace opens on Wednesday, Jan. 25. 

Construction on the new Jefferson Marketplace began in May as part of an approximately $40 million project to renovate both the culinary and residential areas of East Green’s Jefferson Hall. While construction continues on the residential areas of the building (see sidebar), the approximately $8.8 million renovation to the 16,000-square-foot culinary area of the building, funded entirely through Culinary Services’ operational reserves, wrapped up in mid-December. Over the past few weeks, Culinary Services’ staff has been busy stocking the venue, adding signage and other final touches.

Shelves and coolers are being stocked in preparation for the debut of Jefferson Marketplace.

Shelves and coolers are being stocked in preparation for the debut of Jefferson Marketplace.

The new Jefferson Marketplace replaces the traditional, all-you-care-to-eat Jefferson Dining Hall with a neighborhood marketplace featuring several distinct concepts that include:

The Ohio Café

Located just inside the new glass entrance to the Jefferson Marketplace, the Ohio Café is designed to allow customers to grab a quick cup of coffee before heading to class or the office or to enjoy while shopping within the venue. The Ohio Café will feature Peet’s Coffee, bringing this San Francisco-based coffee provider to the Athens Campus, and baked goods from OHIO’s on-campus bakery.

Brick City Deli

This New York-style deli will feature Boar’s Head meats and cheeses. Set up in a semi-circular shape, Brick City Deli will offer two options. One side of the deli will provide custom-made sandwiches, including 17 signature sandwiches. The other side of the deli will offer sliced-to-order meats and cheeses that may be purchased by the pound.

Patrons of Jefferson Marketplace’s Brick City Deli may access the deli’s selection of meats of cheeses at three points within the marketplace.

Patrons of Jefferson Marketplace’s Brick City Deli may access the deli’s selection of meats of cheeses at three points within the marketplace – by placing a sandwich order at the deli, by ordering sliced-to-order meats and cheeses, or by grabbing a pre-made sandwich. 

Brick City Deli will utilize an Electronic Point of Sale (ePOS) system, allowing customers to place sandwich orders, designated a pick-up time and pay for their purchase all online. That system will be operational on Jan. 25 via Culinary Services’ website and will be accessible via any desktop or mobile device. Customers will be able to pay for their orders using credit cards, Bobcat Cash and Flex Points.

The Grocery Market

Customers will notice small shopping carts and a four-screen video wall upon entering the market area of the venue – two of a number of Culinary Services firsts located within the Jefferson Marketplace. 

The market area includes 14 aisles of food and products, featuring locally made goods and international food selections, as well as a number of shelves and areas offering everything from snacks and beverages to health and beauty products, dog and cat food, and automotive items – all at competitive prices. Among the offerings are:

  • A cooler featuring grab-and-go Brick City Deli sandwiches and take-and-bake pizzas
  • Frozen foods, including new international lines such as Café Spice, a New York-based company specializing in culinary creations from around the world
  • A specially-designated area for frozen meats, including hamburger patties and pork chops
  • Refrigerated section including Fresh Take products, yogurts, lunchables, eggs and bacon
  • Baked items and other goods from OHIO’s bakery
  • A produce section featuring a wide array of fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Juiced, featuring fresh made-to-order raw fruit and vegetable juices priced from 75 cents to $2.75
A juicer sits ready at Jefferson Marketplace’s Juiced – a highlight of the marketplace offering patrons a healthy refreshment at a reasonable price.

A juicer sits ready at Jefferson Marketplace’s Juiced – a highlight of the marketplace offering patrons a healthy refreshment at a reasonable price. 

  • The Veggie Butcher, modeled after this popular feature at The District on West Green where customers can select whole fruits and vegetables, which they then take to a counter to be washed, processed to their specifications, weighed and tagged for purchase
  • Two salad bars loaded with fresh greens, veggies, etc. 
  • A hot food bar featuring American and international cuisine
  • A bulk foods area, featuring chocolates and candies, dried fruit, nuts, seeds, trail mixes, pastas and local Silver Bridge coffee
  • A floral area that will offer individual flowers, bouquets and potted plants, as well as greeting cards and other special occasion-related items
Jefferson Marketplace’s bulk foods section offers a variety of items priced by the ounce/pound.

Jefferson Marketplace’s bulk foods section offers a variety of items priced by the ounce/pound. 

“The Jefferson Marketplace features everything we’ve been carrying in our other markets on campus – plus a whole lot more,” Scott said. “And it makes our Flex Meal Plan even a better value because customers on that plan can use it to purchase household items as well.”

Steeped and Stirred

Described as a “zenful beverage room,” Steeped and Stirred will offer a selection of Mighty Leaf Tea, as well as coffee, other hot beverages and chocolates. Designed to be a place to relax, this area of the Marketplace will include calming music, a water feature and plants.

A sign located at the end of Jefferson Marketplace that will connect to the renovated Jefferson Hall when it opens next August advertises the marketplace’s Steeped and Stirred.

A sign located at the end of Jefferson Marketplace that will connect to the renovated Jefferson Hall when it opens next August advertises the marketplace’s Steeped and Stirred.

The Culinary Studio

Developed and operated in partnership with the Scripps College of Communication, the Patton College of Education and WOUB Public Media, the Culinary Studio will serve as Culinary Services’ premier demonstration kitchen.

Set up with special lighting and video equipment, the Culinary Studio will provide a venue for live cooking demonstrations and serve as a learning lab for OHIO students. 

According to Scott, plans for the Culinary Studio include classes for individuals with special dietary needs; visits from guest chefs; and cooking classes for children. 

Scott noted that the Culinary Studio was developed with the mission of Ohio University in mind.

“The tagline on the Culinary Studio says it all,” Scott said. “It’s an educational food experience.”

“That’s the foundation of this concept,” added Mark Brunton, assistant director of marketing and communication for OHIO Auxiliaries. “It’s about helping to educate our students with our resources.”

A highlight of Jefferson Marketplace is the Culinary Studio, a state-of-the-art demonstration kitchen designated to the culinary arts and education.

A highlight of Jefferson Marketplace is the Culinary Studio, a state-of-the-art demonstration kitchen designated to the culinary arts and education.

In the coming months, a faculty member within the Scripps College of Communication is expected to hold classes in the studio, and Chef Hari Nayak, culinary director of Café Spice, will provide the first live cooking demonstration at the Culinary Studio on Feb. 23. 

“We’re on the leading edge with the Culinary Studio,” Scott said, noting that while the studio will host a few events this semester, it will be fully operational next fall semester.

Emily Chaparro, production chef with Culinary Services, will oversee operations at the Culinary Studio. Programs at the Culinary Studio will be advertised at Jefferson Marketplace, on Culinary Services’ website and on the Calendar of University Events.

Grand Opening Plans

While Jefferson Marketplace officially opens this week, a grand opening celebration will be held next month.

According to Don Jackson, general manager of the marketplace, a week-long grand opening celebration is being planned for Feb. 20-25. Details will be released in the coming weeks, but Jackson said plans include cooking demonstrations, samplings from marketplace vendors and featured companies, and discounts and specials. 

Future Plans

The opening of Jefferson Marketplace marks the completion of renovations to all of Culinary Service’s venues. Those renovations have occurred over the past decade and have been funded entirely by Culinary Service’s operational reserves.

That doesn’t mean that Culinary Services will be resting on its laurels. Latitude 39 restaurant and the Front Room Coffeehouse located within Baker University Center will receive facelifts this coming summer.

The Marketplace’s hours of operation and payment options

Jefferson Marketplace’s hours of operation will be:

Mondays through Thursdays – 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Fridays and Saturdays – 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Sundays – 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

The following forms of payment will be accepted at Jefferson Marketplace:

The Ohio Café, Brick City Deli, and Steeped and Stirred will accept cash, credit cards, Bobcat Cash and Flex Points.

The grocery market will accept cash, credit cards, Bobcat Cash, and the Flex Meal Plans, as meal equivalency. Just as they can in other campus markets, students on a Flex Meal Plan may use a meal swipe to purchase $6.25 worth of product from the grocery market.

Construction on residential areas of Jefferson more than halfway done

As of Jan. 20, renovations to the residential areas of Jefferson Hall have reached the 56 percent completion mark, and the project remains on schedule for an August opening. 

The approximately $30 million renovation will fully update the residence hall that opened to students in 1958 and will improve building accessibility with the addition of an elevator and new entrances. 

The updated Jefferson Hall will house first-year students and will include:

Laundry facilities on each floor

A kitchen on the fourth floor

Heating and cooling controls in each room

Enhanced and fully refurbished bathrooms that will provide improved privacy

An East Green shared space on the first floor of the hall that will include open study space, meeting rooms and a game room

Corna Kokosing and Elford (CKE) is serving as the construction manager on the Jefferson Hall renovation while AECOM is the engineering and architectural firm overseeing the project.