One cart closes, a bigger one opens


As a result of all the additions to UW-Eau Claire’s campus over the last few years, one building will lose something.
Next semester, the food cart located on Hibbard Hall’s first floor will close. Instead, an Einstein Bros. Bagels will open in Centennial Hall.
The new restaurant will be full-service, the closest thing the university will have to a sit down restaurant, said Christian Wise, general manager of Blugold
Dining Services.
“Everything that’s offered in the small cafe a la cart that’s in Hibbard will be offered in Centennial Hall,” Wise said. “Having two operations so close together just doesn’t make sense.”
The proximity to the larger store and potential losses are what forced the closure. The other a la carte operation in Haas Fine Arts Center will stay open.
Jean Everson works the Hibbard food cart. She said she wishes it would stay open through next semester to see how it would do.
Wise said the cart would likely lose between $12,000 and $15,000 next semester and only make about a third of what it has been making.
“People like shiny stuff,” Wise said. “I think that’s going to draw a bunch of people away. If they’re going over to Hibbard but they know Einstein Brothers exists, I think they’re going to choose to go over there, grab a drink and go.”
While students and faculty who frequent Hibbard will notice the loss, Wise said he has only gotten three complaints. Two were unaware Centennial would have a large-scale version of the food cart and Wise said they seemed satisfied with that answer.
Junior Caitlyn Schultz said she uses the food cart about once a week, but still doesn’t want to see it closed.
“It’s really nice to have, otherwise you have to walk to another building or to Davies and in the middle of winter that’s going to suck,” Schultz said.
Anyone who has been in the hall near the food cart during a passing time knows it gets congested. Wise said the new restaurant will have the capacity to serve more people more efficiently because it will have its own part of the building.
Similar to Intermezzos in Davies, Centennial’s Einstein Bros. will be roughly one and a half times bigger and have its own seating area.
In addition to a wide variety of Einstein bagels and cream cheese, Wise said the store will also offer sandwiches, salads, coffee, espresso and many other items.
Wise said Einstein Bros. Bagels will likely have the same initial popularity as Sushi Do before leveling off, but it will be filling a void left by the Hibbard food cart on this side of campus.