University Corp. plans to improve food services, remodel seating areas

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The University Corporation will remodel the food stations in the Matador Bookstore Complex within two years to improve the business and services located there, according to the director of commercial services for TUC.

The business at the Sierra Center has been “positive” and the sales have been on the rise since it opened in Fall 2002 because the facility is excellent and there is a wide choice of restaurants, said Dave Nirenberg, the director of commercial services for TUC.

He said the complex will be remodeled because the building’s food services areas needs to be updated.

“We’re currently working with consultants to review services to provide food services,” Nirenberg said. “We’ll completely remodel the food facilities within Matador Bookstore.”

According to Nirenberg, TUC has considered managing two or three vendors in the facilities, in addition to Burger King, operated by TUC, and Jamba Juice, which TUC made a contract with last year.

“Jamba Juice, we think, is a production line that is received extremely well by the campus community,” Nirenberg said. “We’d like to see that facilities sized larger (with) more (representation) of the current visual concept they have – As we remodel the stations, we may work with Jamba Juice to remodel that facility.

Derek Yu, manager of the food stations for the Matador Bookstore Complex, said after Sierra Center opened in 2002, they lost 40 percent of campus business, but recently sales have been increased.

“Compared to last year, it’s good,” Yu said. “It’s been little bit better.”

After TUC put extra tables and chairs inside the bookstore in October, the number of people who have gone to the Matador Bookstore Complex to buy meals has increased, Yu said.

“Right now it’s pretty good because chairs are available,” he said.

But the sales still have to grow, and when TUC remodels the whole building, puts more seating in and upgrades equipment, there will be a lot more customers, Yu said.

In the meantime, TUC is working on putting new stuff in the food corner, Yu said.

“We are a head of original projections (at Sierra Center),” said Nirenberg, and TUC is continuing to review food production lines, prices and open hours.

“We always attempt to have prices low,” he said.

Sierra Center has been a community center, Nirenberg said.

“Students have been really enjoying having spaces to meet and talk with their friends and greet,” he said.

Kelly Morgan, junior liberal studies major, said she goes to Sierra Center to get breakfast with a classmate and also for lunch sometimes when she is on campus three days each week.

“I like Sierra Center because I like burritos for breakfast and hanging out,” she said.

Morgan said she goes to the Matador Bookstore Complex only when she gets Jamba Juice.

Elmer Marroquin, undeclared freshman, said he has lunch at Sierra Center each day with his friends because the prices are “less expensive compared to other places.”

Marroquin said he is satisfied with food options at Sierra Center and the external seating that is provided.

“Our classes are (near) there too,” he said. “We just go straight from classes to eat.”

Liana Grigoryan, undecided sophomore, said every time her class ends, she gets food at either Sierra Center or the Matador Bookstore Complex.

Grigoryan said she likes Sierra Center better than Matador Bookstore Complex because the food is better.

TUC will also start rebuilding the Exchange, located between Jacaranda Hall and Juniper Hall starting June 2006. The renovated Exchange will reopen in Fall 2007 with new food shops and the fourth Freudian Sip coffeehouse, according to Nirenberg.

TUC is also opening the third Freudian Sip coffeehouse by the University Student Union in mid-March.

Aya Oikawa can be reached at city@csun.edu.