Campus News

Take a ‘tour’ inside One World Café

Rendering of the food platforms inside One World Café.

Five food stations will feature the cuisine of Middle Eastern countries, Turkey and Greece; India; North American comfort food; China, Korea and Taiwan; and Japan and Vietnam.


Published October 27, 2021

Headshot of Kelly Hayes McAlonie.
“I think people are going to love One World Café. It not only offers new food options, which the campus has been asking for, but it will serve as another attractive space for our community to come together. ”
Kelly Hayes McAlonie, director of campus planning

One World Café, the new three-story international eatery under construction on the academic spine, is scheduled to open in the spring.

But for those anxious to get a peek at the progress inside, project architects from CannonDesign have put together a series of artist renderings that offer curious onlookers a 360-degree view of what the interior of the new signature facility will look like.

“I think people are going to love One World Café,” says Kelly Hayes McAlonie, director of campus planning. “It not only offers new food options, which the campus has been asking for, but it will serve as another attractive space for our community to come together.”

Construction is expected to be completed in late January, at which time Campus Dining & Shops will begin moving in furniture, testing out equipment and training. Opening is scheduled for the spring.

Here’s a brief “tour” of the building that’s been dubbed UB’s new “front door.” Be sure to click on the hyperlinks to get the full view. Once the image has loaded, scroll down and move your cursor around to get the 360 view.

New front door

This is the first floor.

The floor-to-ceiling windows overlook Founders Plaza and daily life unfolding along the spine.

The UB logo is pictured on a large video wall, where announcements can be viewed, campus photos displayed, or the Bulls game shown for all to watch. Entrance from the outside is to the right in the corner.

Visitors will notice an array of seating — 522 seats, to be exact — situated throughout the dining area of the main floor.

“It’s meant to be a communal space,” Hayes McAlonie says. “If we had an event, where we were watching a game, this is where we would go. It’s set up like a theater.”

The stairs lead to additional, tiered seating on the second-floor balcony, while first-floor foot traffic continues to flow along the windows toward the food stations, located on the right.

Contemporary options

As diners enter the servery, they will find a large section of international beverages and snacks that include microwavable options, grab-and-go alternatives and Kosher choices, along with five food stations.

The first station is “Kali Orexi” — or “Good Appetite” — featuring marinated meats, ancient grains, spices and other favorite fare from Middle Eastern countries, Turkey and Greece, explains Eric Blackledge, executive director of Campus Dining & Shops.

Next is “Tikka Table,” which will include the food, flavors and complex spice blends from the different regions of India, while “The 1846 Grill” is traditional North American comfort food — from breakfast to burgers and everything in between, Blackledge says.

The “Pan Asian” station will include different types of foods from China, Korea and Taiwan, while the last station is “The Noodle Pavilion,” showcasing the popular bowl-style dishes from Japan and Vietnam.

“We wanted each platform to stand alone so there’s a very unique style and feel for each region,” Blackledge says.

“I think it will be very well received.”

UB sought input from international students to ensure the menu options were authentic and contemporary, Hayes McAlonie says. Although, she adds, the food stations will continue to evolve with cuisines and menu options changing periodically based on response from diners.

Rendering of the one story seating area.

Diners looking for a quieter place to eat or study will find plenty of options.

Private settings

Diners leaving the food stations in search of a place to sit will find the setting a little quieter and more private as they head to the right toward the north end of the café.

The space has acoustical ceilings and features two large panels of bold, colorful artwork commissioned specifically for One World Cafe.  Not seen in this view, but just on the other side of the staircase, is cozy seating situated around a hearth.

“Up front, it’s more public,” Hayes McAlonie says. “But, obviously, back here it is a much more intimate setting, meaning we wanted it to feel comfortable if you’re dining alone or with one other person.”

Students may also find this an attractive spot to study, either alone or in groups.

“We didn’t want it to be a bland dining hall, but at the same time needed to service hundreds of people, so we wanted to create different environments,” Hayes McAlonie says.

Rendering of the tiered seating area.

The second-floor balcony offers another seating option.

Tiered seating

The second-floor balcony has another 65 chairs along tiered seating that gives diners more options to gather or eat alone while enjoying the atmosphere of the café.

“This is great because we’re on the upper floor, but you can see the multiple levels and, again, the idea is about creating community,” Hayes McAlonie says.

“Of course, from up here, you can see outside and the people coming to campus, and that’s really important,” she says. “This is really about connecting the campus to what’s happening on the inside with what’s happening on the outside.”

In fact, this floor will serve as a connector to the rest of the campus, Hayes McAlonie says.

“You’ll be able to get to the Silverman Library from here,” she says. “You’ll be able to get to Capen. You’ll be able to get to Talbert and Norton.”

Public elevators are to the right at the end. That black wall at the center of the floor is a service elevator. Behind diners are the doors to the University Club, a dining and event space for faculty and staff. In the far corner is the staircase leading to the ground floor.

North entry

The entrance from the ground floor is located on the north side of the building facing Hamilton Loop. As visitors enter, the stairs are to the left.

“We really want to encourage people traversing this space to use the stairs as opposed to the elevators, if they are able,” Hayes McAlonie says. “We want to encourage wellness and walking the stairs, but also we are excited by the visual connectivity of the three floors.”

UB is working on a large, interpretive piece of artwork to adorn the walls of the staircase, she adds.

At the end of the corridor are doors to the Buffalo Room, a large space for conferences and press briefings.


So you're not offering any halal options for those of us who are Muslim? I saw kosher and was wondering if any of the food you will be serving is halal, since it’s hard for us Muslims to eat food as there aren't many halal options.

Mahbubur Bhuiyan

This is nice, but if it's "one world" café, we need African/Caribbean dishes as well, since there are many African/Caribbean students in this school. It should be fair; we need to be represented. Do better UB.

Andrea Botchway