UMass Dining Services will host a grand opening of the newly remodeled Hampshire Dining Commons in the Southwest Residential Area on Tuesday, Sept. 10. There will be an official ribbon-cutting ceremony at 6:30 p.m.
Ken Toong, executive director of auxiliary services, said he expects Hampshire to be one of the healthiest and most sustainable dining operations in the nation. That will be accomplished, he said, by serving minimally processed foods and more plant-based items at peak season, less red meat, more sustainable seafood and healthier oils, fats and beverages. The state-of-the-art facility will have a contemporary New England theme with 12 concepts designed around UMass Dining Services’ four guiding principles: healthy eating, sustainability, world flavors and community.
The event will mark the completion of a two-year, $15.5 million revitalization of the 46,000-square-foot facility, originally constructed in 1966. It has the capacity to serve up to 650 students.
Three accomplished guest chefs have been invited to celebrate the grand opening. Chef Mia Pham of Sacramento, Calif., will showcase South East Asian dishes; chef Jehangir Mehta of New York, N.Y., will prepare Indian cuisine and chef Bruno Wehren of Orlando, Fla., will be on hand to cook world-class Mediterranean inspired meals. More than 3,500 students and guests are expected to attend the grand opening celebration.
Toong noted that Hampshire Dining Commons will complement and not compete with nearby Berkshire Dining Commons. The two dining commons should be viewed as a single food service experience for the Southwest quadrant of campus, allowing for an expanded palette of themes and food service delivery ideas.
The first day of service for the new dining commons will be Sept. 1. It will be open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. The public is welcome to dine at Hampshire. Breakfast is $9, lunch $12 and dinner $14.
The designer/architect for the project is Bergmeyer Associates, Inc., and the contractor is Shawmut Design & Construction.