Carney’s dining hall in McElroy Commons reopened this Friday with long-anticipated renovations following a semester with a makeshift set-up.
“We hope students will be excited about the remodel,” Sharyl Thompson, general manager of Upper Campus dining, said. “We know that dining halls, especially at BC, are more than just dining halls. They help keep students happy and well-fed while also fostering community.”
Megan O’Neill, associate director of dining services, said that while renovations were supposed to begin last July, COVID-19-related shortages in staffing and supplies delayed the project’s start until August.
“We had to get creative,” O’Neill said. “We wondered, do we have to change the scope of the project or how can we still serve the students in the fall semester?”
The creation of a temporary wall allowed the construction company to work while BC dining continued to serve students during the fall semester. Students could get their food and pay in the same line at temporary serving stations.
“That’s what is similar to the new setup,” O’Neill said. “But that’s where the similarities end.”
Maja Duchnowska, BC ’25, said the Carney’s seating area is completely unrecognizable.
“Everything has changed,” Duchnowska said. “I can’t believe it’s the same dining hall.”
The dining hall has new tables, including high seating against the window overlooking Beacon St.
“This shouldn’t just be a place to eat,” O’Neill said. “We tried to lay out the seating to allow for Carney’s to be a gathering place for students.
Carney’s is now split into four stations—Eagle Oven, Carney Kitchen, Upper Grill, and BC Fresh.
At Eagle Oven students can choose from a variety of pizzas, prepared entrees, or customizable meals at the exhibition station.
“Eagle Oven is quite eye-catching,” Thompson said. “I think students will be impressed by our new pizza machine.”
The pizza station is open seven days a week for lunch, prepared lunch entrees will be served Monday through Friday, and cook-to-order dinners will be available Sunday through Thursday, according to O’Neill.
O’Neill says Carney Kitchen—the second station—will be open seven days a week for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and Upper Grill will serve lunch and dinner seven days a week.
Carney Kitchen and Upper Grill will feature made-to-order meals such as steak and cheese, burgers, and grilled chicken.
For drinks, according to Thompson, a coffee station next to Carney Kitchen will be available seven days a week for all meals.
Eagle Oven and Upper Grill also have Coca-Cola Freestyle soda fountains. These new touch screen machines have drink options including Coca-Cola, Fanta, Dr. Pepper, Minute Maid, and much more.
The salad bar at the popular lunch destination Eagle’s Nest has now been moved to the BC Fresh station in Carney’s.
Thompson said Eagles Nest will now be in a three-week food rotation similar to other dining halls on campus.
BC Fresh serves breakfast and dinner seven days a week, as well as lunch Monday through Friday, O’Neill said.
In addition to a salad bar, BC Fresh has pre-made smoothies for breakfast and lunch, vegan entrée options, and an allergy-friendly corner.
“As someone with a gluten and dairy allergy, I really appreciate the abundance of allergy-friendly and customizable food options,” Duchnowska said. “It’s very organized and clearly laid out.”
According to O’Neill, sustainability was a large focus in the dining hall renovation.
“We need the students’ help for this,” O’Neill said. “We encourage you to purchase bamboo utensils, metal straws, [and] reusable bags … at the register and use the bottle fillers at both ends of Carney’s.”
O’Neill welcomes student feedback, but asks for patience.
“We want to make you guys happy,” O’Neill said. “So please let us know if you have any suggestions, but also have some patience with us while we’re still in the early stages of serving.”
Featured Image by Sophia Maher / Heights Editor