Ferris State University’s newest cafeteria came at a low cost.
Westside Café was renovated and refurbished with a budget of $30,000 according to Jim Hessler, associate vice president of auxiliary services.
Due to the recent University Center makeover and closing of Westview Café, there was a need to open a new on-campus cafeteria. Hessler said the project was referred to as a “MacGyver Project,” meaning they focused on reusing and repurposing equipment and furniture. The entire facility was freshly painted and new ceilings and lighting were installed.
“The food and atmosphere reminds me a lot of Westview,” Ferris sophomore pre-pharmacy Brandon Stabley said. Stabley said the other on-campus cafeteria, The Rock Café, seems busier than previous years, which is why he occasionally chooses Westside, avoiding long lines.
During the lunch rush, The Rock has about 1,000 students per hour according to Mark Arnold, assistant manager for the Rock Café. The Rock has hired additional staff to accommodate the extra students. “Eventually students will realize [Westside Café] has good food without the wait. We anticipate popularity and awareness to increase within the next couple of weeks,” Arnold said.
Ferris sophomore in pre-physical therapy Maddie Haustein said Westside’s location is convenient for her and others who live west of State Street. “It’s spacious and quiet; perfect for grabbing a quick breakfast before class,” Haustein said.
Carrying on the legacy from Westview, Westside will have themed nights such as “Wing Night” on Thursdays. It also features four large screen TVs located in the main seating area.
Westside is located in Bond Circle in the building previously known as Center Ice dining facility, which provides seating for 265. Westside is open from breakfast through late night with the all-you-care-to-eat option. It’s open from 7 a.m. until midnight on weekdays and 10:30 a.m. until midnight Saturday and Sunday. Ferris provides busing for students from FLITE to Westside on weekdays from 11 a.m. until 8 p.m. The bus makes trips approximately every 12 to 15 minutes.
There is also a new coffee shop in FLITE, called FLITE Between Chapters Café, which is open 7:30 a.m. until 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday. It is also open weekends, but with shortened hours.