By Kristen Wagner
Excitement and enthusiasm fill the room. Students, faculty and staff gather around the blue and white ribbon, patiently awaiting the grand opening ceremony of their new cafeteria, Café 780. The Chancellor speaks a promising, encouraging few words, and the ribbon is cut. Applause breaks out as the distinctive chant, “WE ARE PENN STATE!” echoes across the area.
AVI Food Systems is the proud provider of the new food service on campus. Referring to the grand opening of Café 780 at the Penn State New Kensington Campus, Oliver Cohen, Area Marketing Manager of AVI said, “It was a great turnout and we were happy to be part of Chancellor Kevin Snider’s commitment to excellence.”
The campus is thrilled about the revival of the timeworn Cat’s Pause Café, into the newly renovated Café 780. The café now features a variety of new specials, soups, salads, pastas, pizza and a short order grill.
According to current student Megan Zidek, the new café is going to bring more prospective students into the area to socialize. “It’s a really great place to come and hang out,” she said.
Café 780 is expected to be a great place to come before classes, between classes and after classes to mingle with friends and enjoy the new surroundings, along with some fun entertainment.
“There is more energy. This is going to do a lot for the campus; students can now walk into the café and feel like they are on a Penn State campus, and that was the goal,” said Chancellor Kevin Snider. He was extremely excited about the seemingly endless possibilities of the new café, saying, “The type of things that we can do now will be awesome.” The new restorations also include an impressive stage for live entertainment on campus, along with a newer, more “hip” look and seating areas.
The ceremony was followed by the cake cutting and a special performance by British Singer/Songwriter and award winning recording artist, Nick Howard, whose music is featured on many popular television shows such as The Hills, Jersey Shore, LA Ink and several more.
A special thanks goes out to our Executive Chef and Director here on campus, Dan Tokarek. “Everything turned out better than I expected,” he said, “We couldn’t have done it without the help of Penn State.”