Colonial Room closed for ISR dining hall renovation


Illinois Street Residence Hall’s dining hall will face renovations in the coming years. The new hall will offer a micro-restaurant dining experience for students.

By Haipei Wu, Staff Writer

After years of lunchtime service, the Colonial Room in the Illini Union permanently closed the Friday before spring break to make space for Illinois Street Residence Hall’s new dining venue, Orange on Green.

Chelsea Hamilton, senior assistant director of communications and marketing for University Housing, said the closing of the Colonial Room is a decision to better serve the campus community in the long term.

Orange on Green will open in the fall semester, providing lunch and dinner Monday through Friday, where it will serve as both a carry-out and sit-down venue.

Orange on Green will be open to the entire campus, accepting both Cafe Credits and Illini Cash. Hamilton said the feedback on the plans for the new venue has been extremely positive.

“Having a dining facility on the Main Quad would be something students look forward to and want to take advantage of,” Hamilton said.

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Dawn Aubrey, associate director of University Housing for dining services, said in email the replacement of the Colonial Room was part of the multi-million dollar ISR renovation and its addition project.

“The Colonial Room is being closed to allow for time to make necessary upgrades in preparation for feeding residential dining students while ISR Dining Center is being renovated,” Aubrey said.

The ISR dining hall will be closed for construction from May 2018 to August 2020, during which only limited dining will be available to students, including seasonal food trucks, located near the south side of the building, and the convenience store CHOMPS, located in the basement of ISR.

When the ISR dining service reopens in 2020, Aubrey said it will offer a micro-restaurant dining experience, featuring a tea bar and customized dining options.

“We anticipate that ISR will become a destination for campus to gather, collaborate and build community with food,” Aubrey said.

However, Aubrey said Orange on Green will serve as a residential dining location for the residents of ISR for the next two years, along with Blue-41, an all-you-care-to-eat location on the second floor of the Illini Union that will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Diana Meraz, senior in AHS, said she thinks opening a dining facility in the Union is a good idea.

“It would be more convenient for students than other dining halls, considering they were all spread out around the campus,” Meraz said.

While nearly a dozen businesses are already operating in the Union, Aubrey said the opening of dining facility would not harm other businesses.

“The current businesses in the Illini Union will continue to thrive and may benefit from the additional foot traffic in the building,” Aubrey said.

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