Welcome Week Sees the Return of Ike’s and Other Dining Changes

Posted: August 26, 2014 at 5:40 pm, Last Updated: August 28, 2014 at 11:09 am

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By Buzz McClain

The new and improved Ike's is part of Mason's fresh dining options for the new school year.

Opening day at Mason’s newly renovated dining hall, Ike’s.
Photo by Craig Bisacre.

Ike’s is back!

The Presidents Park diner closed in 2012 to the woe of many who had grown accustomed to the early morning/late night comfort food (cinnamon toast, grilled cheese, double George burgers, 3 a.m. chicken tenders) and its Akoo music machine.

The return of Ike’s at George Mason University’s Eisenhower residence hall is just one of the dining developments new this year on the Fairfax Campus.

Ike’s is not only back, but better, offering all-you-care-to-eat deals 24/7 in a remodeled “destination dining hall” (forget the pleather banquette diner ambiance), offering up fresh cooked meals prepared at various stations, familiar to those who frequent Southside dining hall. Except, it’s all different.

“It’s all different food,” says Michel Wetli, general manager of Mason Dining for food service vendor Sodexo. Wetli points out, for instance, that the pizza coming out of the open-line kitchen’s oven at Ike’s is a different style from that served at Southside—the same goes for the ingredients and recipes offered at other stations—the idea being, students won’t burn out having the same thing served at the three “anytime dining” destinations on campus.

Dining halls are scheduled to strategically open and close—if they are not 24-hour operations—so as to always provide hot meals when a student needs one. For instance, when Southside closes after dinner at 9 p.m., the Pilot House at Hampton Roads opens and stays open until 7 a.m.

Starbucks newest store location inside the Johnson Center opening on September 2. Photo by Craig Bisacre

Starbucks’ newest store location inside the Johnson Center opens Sept. 2.
Photo by Craig Bisacre.

New this year is The Globe in the former Mason Inn, now the Mason Global Center and home to INTO Mason students, offering hot food stations in the former Boxwoods Restaurant. Wetli says the fare will emphasize ever-changing selections of Asian and Middle Eastern cuisines, among others. The Globe will be open 365 days a year.

Other changes:

    • The Side Pocket on the second floor of the Hub student center is now The Cue, a slider and wings specialty fast-food nook around the corner from the Corner Pocket game room. Early reviews rave about the french fries.
    • Panera Bread will replace La Patisserie in October in the Johnson Center.
    • Express Store and Freshens Fresh Food Studio now offer carry-out and convenience items at the JC.
    • Starbucks will open on Sept. 2, replacing Jazzman’s on the JC’s lower level.
    • The Mason Rathskeller in SUB I thankfully will never change. Now that The Well has closed at the former Mason Inn, the Rat is the only place on campus that sells beer and wine.

Write to Buzz McClain at bmcclai2@gmu.edu

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