New Vegan Restaurant Opens in Muir College
Roots, UCSD’s first vegan restaurant, opened Monday, Jan. 9.Written by Javier Armstrong
11 January 2012
According to UCSD spokesperson Christine Clark, the restaurant — located in Muir College below Pines dining hall — is part of a growth plan initiated approximately five years ago; the growth plan itself is part of a master plan developed in 2000.
The plan, which included the 2009 closures of Muir College dining hall Sierra Summit and Mexican restaurant Mercado, designated Roots as Mercado’s replacement.
Housing, Dining and Hospitality wants the all-vegan restaurant to reflect the department’s commitment to serving the dining requests of the campus community, Clark said in an email.
“It’s a healthier option for everyone,” Muir Senator Elizabeth Garcia said about Roots.
The Stewart Commons Dining Renovation and Roots restaurant construction started Jan. 1, 2010.
Pines dining hall, which replaced Sierra Summit, cost an estimated 8 million for its year-long construction, according to “Facility Design Project of the Month, Nov. 2010: The Pines” published Nov. 1, 2010 in Foodservice Equipment and Supplies Magazine.
According to a March 15, 2011 report released by UCSD Facilities Design & Construction, Roots cost an estimated $792,000 in construction fees.
The restaurant will be open Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Friday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. As with all dining halls, the restaurant will accept dining dollars.
“I think that Roots will be popular because Muir is located near the center of everything,” Garcia said.
Aside from Roots, one more restaurant is scheduled to open on campus within the next two years.
University Centers is in the final stages of approving a new Mexican restaurant at the Old Student Center to replace the Grove Café, which A.S. Council shut down in Spring Quarter 2010. According to “Admin. Consider Grove Café Replacement,” published Sept. 30, 2010 in the Guardian, the Grove Café, which was previously a student-run venture, left A.S. Council with $180,000 in debt.
The space has since been relinquished back to University Centers.
No opening date for the new venue has been set.
“We have designated the space for an authentic Mexican restaurant, something along the lines of a taco shop,” University Centers Advisory Board Director Sharon Van
Van Bruggen said that the restaurant proposal will be distributed publicly as soon as possible, although a 2012 opening is unlikely.
Van Bruggen added that that University Centers made the decision to recruit a Mexican survey after gauging student interest via a survey about food options and that she hopes the new restaurant will increase traffic in the Old Student Center.
University Centers must obtain approval from the campus retail committee before leasing the space. Retail Committee takes into account the nearby businesses in order to gauge whether or not a new restaurant would hurt the existing vendors financially.
University Centers will then write a request for proposal. Once the proposal is approved and distributed publicly, restaurants can apply to lease the space.