Salazar Cafe reopening early October and plans for future food spots


Erick Cabrera

Salazar Cafe is located inside the Ruben Salazar Memorial Hall.

Anne To, Multimedia Reporter

Salazar Cafe and other food establishments on campus, like the University Club and Kikka Sushi, all closed down during the pandemic. But Salazar Cafe is expected to reopen around early October, according to Executive Chef and Food Service Director Daniel Keenan.

“It’ll have espresso, coffee, burritos, kind of like King Coffee but at Salazar Hall,” Keenan said. “It’s really hard coming from the pandemic to find staff, so it’s taking a little longer than we anticipated, but we’re getting there.”

It will be located inside Salazar Hall in the Gerontology wing. The location will be in the same room as Everytable. The opening and closing times have yet to be decided by the staff.

Christopher Morrison, the retail manager, and barista at King Coffee, has been working on setting up for the re-opening of Salazar Cafe for the past month.

“Once students started coming back, we started having conversations,” Morrison said. “We need to make sure that you guys are taken care of and that there’s enough food for you guys and enough options. We immediately started working on getting more staff and getting everything needed.”

Currently, the only available food location in Salazar Hall is Everytable. 

“A lot of business has shifted over to that side of campus because of the new Student Services Building, so we have to have something in that Greenlee Plaza area,” Keenan said. “Right now, they just have the Everytable over there and vending machines. The sooner we get that open, the better.”

Most of the food establishments on campus reside across the campus in the cafeteria.

“It is quite a walk, and sometimes you only have about 15 minutes in between classes,” said Cristian Gonzalez, an electrical engineering major.

Edgar Moncivais, an economics major, also said that he doesn’t eat much of the food on campus due to the distance.

“I think it’s also less time-consuming, having to walk all that way just to get coffee or any type of snack,” Moncivais said.

With the new mask policies on the campus allowing for indoor dining on campus, the reopening of the University Club looks to be in the near future as well. 

“The University Club will reopen,” Kennan said. “We have to wait until all the COVID mask mandates and indoor sitting is lifted. I don’t know exactly when that’ll be and that will take a little bit of time for staff because it’s a full waiter service.”

The University Club was originally a dine-in restaurant on campus. However, it has been closed since the beginning of the pandemic. The U-Club To Go currently serves food that used to be served in The University Club.

According to Keenan, there have been discussions about filling in the vacant location where Johnny’s Kitchen used to be located with Panda Express.

“There is quite a bit of build-out [development needed] and because of COVID, there’s a lot of delays with getting permits, the fire marshall, and all that stuff,” Keenan said. “It’ll probably be next year or next summer.”

However, it is not guaranteed that Panda Express will be coming to campus anytime soon.

“Until you see a Panda Express sign up there, anything can happen,” Keenan said. “After the last two years, I’ve learned not to predict what’s going to happen.”

The University Auxiliary Services (UAS) dining services facilitates contracts for restaurants in the food court.