Raising Cane's furthers retail residential dining
New restaurant in Paty caters to late-night diningBy JaQuia Curry | 07/02/2014 12:19am
A glimpse inside the newly completed Raising Cane's in Paty Hall. /CW | Hanna Curlette
“With the food court and Fresh Food Company being closed this summer, Bama Dining needed to provide food service options on campus while construction is completed,” University Dining Service Director Kristina Hopton-Jones said.
This food option came in the form of Raising Cane’s, a Baton Rouge-based restaurant now open in Paty Hall.
“The chicken fingers and fries menu concept fit the current north campus late night demand for something simple, fast, fresh and satisfying,” Sara Kolodziejczak, Bama Dining market coordinator, said.
Although the franchise serves students on campus, it has also received attention from the community.
“We have received much of our business from our campus construction staff and off-campus community,” Kolodziejczak said.
The only other Raising Cane’s in Alabama is located in Mobile. Hopton-Jones said Bama Dining negotiated the contract with Raising Cane’s, a brand that had been desired for some time.
“The first week of operations was far beyond what we had expected”, Hopton-Jones said. “With Bama Bound and Boys State on campus the first week, plus curiosity from the campus community, customer count exceeded expectations”.
Raising Cane’s menu, which includes chicken fingers, fries and lemonade, is just one of several new franchises on campus. A new Mary B’s Market and Pizza Hut Express in Mary Burke Hall are also open for business.
Like Mary B’s and Julia’s Market in Tutwiler, Raising Cane’s is expecting students with options primarily in the evening and late at night, Hopton-Jones said.
“With the success of prior locations and the Lakeside Dining facility’s late night programming, we expect Raising Cane’s to become a hot spot for these customers, especially being located in a residence hall,” Kolodziecjzak said.
The demand, Kolodziecjzak said, was for simple, fast, fresh and satisfying late night dining on the north side of campus.
“With the increased residential population on the north side of campus, we have been looking for an appropriate location to add this retail concept,” Hopton-Jones said. “Housing was gracious to allow us to utilize the space, as it had previously housed the Paty 24 Hour Diner and had a Vent-a-Hood system already installed.”
Hopton-Jones said retail dining has existed in residence halls for decades, including Raymond’s Dining Hall, once located in the current location of the engineering lab in Paty Hall.
“We wanted to expand our retail presence in residence halls, while providing the highest level of convenience and quality at the students’ fingertips,” Kolodziejczak said. “Most of the residence hall retail dining locations on campus cater specifically to campus residence hall residents through late night hours of operations and convenient accessibility to elevators and common pathways.”
Raising Cane’s is currently awaiting more design and construction elements, as well as a lobby seating package that will be installed after the departure of summer camps.
In the fall, the Ferguson Center will have a Wendy’s, Panda Express and Auntie Anne’s. A four-concept food court will open in Presidential Village mid-fall.