Fourth Meal will return to Cathey Dining Commons next quarter, following lower attendance this quarter at Bartlett Dining Commons.
The Campus Dining Advisory Board (CDAB) voted unanimously in favor on February 28, and the decision to move Fourth Meal back to Cathey was finalized by UChicago Dining on March 3.
“We discussed turnout to Fourth Meal, compared fall and winter quarter this year, and we compared them to last year.… There was really no argument. Everyone agreed that Cathey was the legitimate choice,” said Mike Viola, a second-year student representative on CDAB.
Although he was not permitted to release the actual Fourth Meal attendance data, Viola did say that attendance at Cathey during fall quarter was almost twice as great as it was at Pierce the year before, and that Bartlett’s turnout is higher than it was at Pierce, but not nearly as high as that of Cathey.
Low attendance at Bartlett has been blamed on a particularly frigid winter and some changes in the Fourth Meal menu in the beginning of the quarter, which have since been rescinded due to negative feedback.
“At the time of our first meeting [fourth week], the feedback was rather negative, [because we] seemed to be missing a lot of fourth meal staples, [like] greasy mozzarella sticks…and that’s the prized gem of Fourth Meal,” Viola said.
The options for Fourth Meal at Cathey will mostly return to the offerings from fall quarter, including pasta, pizza, and other dining hall staples. But there have also been proposals to use Fourth Meal next quarter as a way to test out different dishes and concepts for the eventual renovation of Bart Mart. While the plans for this renovation are still in the very early stages, CDAB has plans to add a cook-to-order grill station inside in addition to the pre-existing convenience store.