Dining With Denise Neil

No more Taco Bell at Wichita State, but another Starbucks is coming

Farewell to The Bell: Taco Bell is no more at Wichita State University’s Rhatigan Student Center.
Farewell to The Bell: Taco Bell is no more at Wichita State University’s Rhatigan Student Center. AP

Taco Bell, often considered the official fast food of starving college students, is out at Wichita State University.

In its place will be a fresher, more Chipotle-esque option.

Also, the Rhatigan Student Center will have a fully operating Starbucks inside of it by the spring 2018 semester. That’s in addition to the new one that opened in March near 21st and Mike Oatman Drive.

Those are just two of several changes facing WSU diners when school starts in the fall. Earlier this month, the campus began partnering with a new food contractor called Chartwells, ending its contract with Sodexo Inc. The new company, which has a five-year contract, is bringing some “healthier dining options” to WSU, according to a news release.

Don’t worry. Chick-fil-A is staying put.

Here are the highlights of the changes:

▪ Taco Bell is out. Sono is in: The food court in the Rhatigan Student Center, which is always crowded at mealtime, will lose its Taco Bell. In its place will be Sono, a fresh Mexican concept that’s a lot like Chipotle. Customers will be able to customize their tacos, burritos, salads, rice bowls and tortas by choosing from fresh ingredients. Construction on Sono is happening now and will be finished in time for it to open for the fall semester.

▪ A new sub shop: Erberts & Gerberts, a sandwich shop that has operated in the Rhatigan Student Center since 2015, also is out. In its place will be Mondo Subs, which offers gourmet sub sandwiches, flatbreads and homemade spiced chips. It also will be ready for the fall semester.

▪ No more Starbucks in Shocker Hall: The GroundHouse, a coffee shop in Shocker Hall used to sell Starbucks coffee. No longer. It now serves coffee from locally owned Reverie Coffee Roasters. The shop also offers to-go meals and snacks.

▪ More Starbucks in the RSC: Lest it be all bad news for Starbucks fans, the Fast Break in the Rhatigan Student Center will operate as normal during the fall semester, and over winter break, it will be transformed into a full Starbucks that will be ready in time for the spring semester.

▪ Not changing: Chick-fil-A, Pizza Hut and Shocker Dining Hall will proceed as normal, though the dining hall will alter its hours in the fall.

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