Campus News

Input from UB community sought on global market café food, design

illustration of map of the world with native foods.

Student interest and demand for cuisine from around the world has increased, according to Graham Hammill, chair of the global market cafe steering committee.


Published October 6, 2017

headshot of Graham Hammill.
“The global market café will be much more than a dining facility. It will be a place for faculty, staff and students to meet and socialize in a global, multicultural environment. ”
Graham Hammill, chair
global market cafe steering committee

The third phase of UB’s Heart of the Campus (HOTC) initiative will bring a global market café to one of the busiest crossroads on the North Campus in 2020.

A transformative initiative, this phase of HOTC will create a “front door” to the university around and under the existing overhangs of Capen Hall and the Founders Plaza courtyard between Norton Hall and Capen.

The project is envisioned creating a food “market” atmosphere and community space where students, faculty, staff and visitors can enjoy a diverse selection of foods from around the world in a welcoming environment.

HOTC is the UB2020 initiative to enhance the student learning experience by creating a “learning landscape” in the center of the academic spine.

The renovation of Silverman Library and Accessibility Resources, and the development of 1Capen were the first and second phases of HOTC, respectively. The culmination of the HOTC initiative will encompass a buildout of the first floor of Capen for Admissions and Financial Aid, creating a one-stop area for those student services. Other parts of HOTC include expansion of the Center for Educational Innovation and Student Conduct and Advocacy.

“This phase of the Heart of the Campus initiative will meet the demand for expanded dining facilities among a growing campus population,” says Graham Hammill, vice provost for graduate education and interim dean for undergraduate education.

“However, the global market café will be much more than a dining facility,” Hammill says. “It will be a place for faculty, staff and students to meet and socialize in a global, multicultural environment.

“The global market café also offers opportunities to integrate impactful research being conducted at the university on issues such as sustainability, food security and food equity,” he says.

He emphasizes the global market café does not have a pre-determined design.

“Global market café design and cuisine will be chosen based on a collaboration between the designer, Cannon Design, and the campus community,” says Hammill, who is also chair of the project’s steering committee.

“The facility will be designed by the UB community, for the UB community.”

UB students, faculty and staff are invited to share their thoughts and viewpoints on the global market café with steering committee members and Cannon Design representatives during focus groups being held throughout the day on Oct. 11 in 228 Student Union. The focus groups are open to the campus community and will take place at 9 a.m., noon, 3 p.m. and 5 p.m.

More information about the project is available here:

In addition, focus group participants will be offered a broad sampling of internationally inspired dishes in the Student Union lobby that are being prepared to give students, faculty and staff a taste of the types of cuisines that will be offered in the global market café. Participants also will have an opportunity to ask questions of the design team and take brief surveys on tablets.

Hammill says Cannon, a Western New York-based global design firm, was selected through a highly competitive bidding process.

“Cannon has extensive experience with campus food service facilities within the SUNY system,” Hammill says, “and has partnered with UB on major recent projects including William R. Greiner Hall on the North Campus and the Clinical and Translational Research Center on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus.

“Student interest and demand for cuisine from around the world has increased,” he says. “Authentically prepared foods will be presented, and it is expected that different menu cycles will be offered throughout the academic year to keep the experience fresh.”

Hammill says that as a vital campus crossroads, a global market café also will fill a student desire for a less-congested place for eating, gathering and spending time with fellow students, faculty and friends.

As envisioned, the global market cafe would be about 23,000 square feet, about double the size of the restaurant, dining room and kitchen area of Bert’s, the existing Campus Dining & Shops restaurant in Talbert Hall. It would seat 375 people.

The area would be glassed-in and accessible from the first floor of Norton; it would replace Bert’s and the New York Deli, also located in Talbert.

“We want to be sure Cannon has the benefit of a broad sampling of ideas and suggestions from the UB community,” Hammill says, “to help fashion the best possible design that meets the needs of students, faculty and staff while achieving the programmatic goals of HOTC.”  

While the new dining facility is being referred to as a global market café, no name has been selected.

“The UB community will also be asked to suggest ideas for the official name,” Hammill says.

Campus Dining & Shops also will seek input from the campus community to help plan food service design and gather input on cuisine choices for the global market café.

"Food prices at the new global market café will be priced as competitively as possible,” says Jeff Brady, CDS executive director. “They will be consistent with current on-campus dining costs.

“Campus Dining & Shops is currently comparing food costs for similar products and cuisine found off campus to ensure that prices are comparable,” Brady says.

He says that under the current meal-plan structure, students will be able to use the meal credit value based upon their time of visit towards their purchases.

In addition, Brady emphasizes that students eating at Campus Dining & Shops venues are not paying higher costs for the global market café. “Prices have not been adjusted to raise revenue for future projects. In fact, both meal plan and retail pricing remained unchanged from 2016-17 to 2017-18,” he says.

A majority of the $12 million project will be funded through the Faculty Student Association — which does business as Campus Dining & Shops — with $2 million of the total cost coming from the SUNY Construction Fund.

“In addition to investing in this project,” Hammill says, “UB is also investing in more than a dozen additional projects on the university’s north and south campuses that will provide critical upgrades to campus buildings and infrastructure, and improve the student, faculty and staff experience.”

The timetable for the global market café calls for the design phase to be completed in April 2018. Construction is scheduled to begin in June 2018, with a projected completion date of spring 2020.


This sounds like a wonderful initiative. Why are great things not happening on South Campus?


Theresa Winkelman