A Dining Delight

New Mahoney-Pearson Dining Hall offers buffet of new offerings.

(September 03, 2013) — The ribbon-cutting ceremony at the grand opening of the new Mahoney-Pearson Dining Hall Friday served as the appetizer to a buffet of new offerings for students, a “fusion” of dining options for those on the go and those wanting a comfortable sit-down experience.

The overhaul, part of the University of Miami’s Dining Master Plan, provides healthy foods with ample variety, along with an atmosphere of inviting seating, recharging stations for portable devices, interactive digital signage, and a kiosk that offers nutritional information and the locations of other on-campus dining facilities.

From waffles and cereals to hearty entrees, colorful salads and delectable desserts, the new Mahoney-Pearson facility has a little bit of everything for everyone. Family-style seating encourages engagement, and for the first time, a new patio offers outdoor seating for more than 60.

Under an archway of orange and white balloons, University President Donna E. Shalala joined UM mascot Sebastian the Ibis in a ‘Canes cheer. As the ribbon-cutting ceremony took place, dozens of students queued up at the various food stations.

“If the students are happy, then I’m happy,” Shalala said. “They are our customers.”

Bhumi Patel, president of Student Government, said it’s an exciting time at the University with several major building projects under way or opening, including the Mahoney-Pearson Dining Hall and the Student Activities Center.

“To see this dining hall so beautiful, it was something our University really needed,” Patel said. “It’s a great time to be a student. The facilities on campus are evolving. This is incredibly exciting.”

The food offerings at Mahoney Pearson include “The Kitchen,” an open kitchen platform that offers a professional cooking experience; “Hearth Stone Ovens,” a versatile station that provides healthier options on a rotating basis; “Baker’s Crust,” an upscale bakery or bistro; “Fresh Market,” with traditional and non-traditional salads and homemade dressings; and “myPantry,” a home for healthy snacks and desserts.

There is inside seating for 514, an increase over the 477 spots in the old facility. The patio area has seating for 64.

Sandra Redway, executive director of Auxiliary Services, said students were extremely involved in the planning of the new dining hall.

“It’s their thing,” she said. “They played a very, very active role in everything. This is exactly what we need.”

The Dining Master Plan also includes the renovation of the Hecht-Stanford Dining Hall, which will include the Athletes Training Table facility, and an upgrade of the University Center Food Court. That work is slated to begin next summer.

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A chef prepares a tasty dish at the renovated Mahoney-Pearson Dining Hall.

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