Campus News

Phased opening to begin at One World Café

Zoom image: Workers are putting the finishing touches on One World Cafe. Seating and meeting areas will be open when the spring semester begins on Jan. 31. Food service is slated to begin in late March. Photo: Douglas Levere Workers are putting the finishing touches on One World Café. Seating and meeting areas will be open when the spring semester begins on Jan. 31. Food service is slated to begin in late March. Photo: Douglas Levere

Workers are putting the finishing touches on One World Cafe. Seating and meeting areas will be open when the spring semester begins on Jan. 31. Food service is slated to begin in late March. Photo: Douglas Levere

By JAY REY

Published January 26, 2022

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headshot of Brian Hamluk.
“We want students to be able to get in, look around and feel comfortable. We think they will like what they see — both now and in the spring when we open the café. ”
Brian Hamluk, vice president
Student Life

The highly anticipated One World Café opens this semester, providing a vibrant new hub and eatery for the UB community. While the phased opening will be spread over several months, the One World seating and meeting areas will open to the public when students return to campus for the start of classes on Jan. 31.

Under construction since 2019, the three-story addition and renovation between Norton and Capen halls will be completed in January. Campus Dining & Shops will need the next several weeks to move in — readying the kitchens, preparing menus and training staff — but is on schedule to open the café portion in late March.

In the meantime, UB officials wanted students to have access to the new building. One World is expected to be another popular place on campus to gather and study, so students are free to take advantage of the spacious seating inside. The new building also will serve as an important connector to other parts of the North Campus, especially during the winter months.

Brian F. Hamluk, vice president for student life, refers to it as a “soft opening.”

“We always had spring in mind as our target for opening the café,” Hamluk says. “But after three years of navigating around the construction on campus, we felt it was important to give students access to the building as soon as we could.

“We expect One World will not only be a place to dine, but a place to gather and be part of the campus community,” Hamluk says. “We want students to be able to get in, look around and feel comfortable. We think they will like what they see — both now and in the spring when we open the café.”

“Tasting Tuesdays” and “Touring Thursdays” are planned for One World during the month of February. A more formal grand opening is planned for later this spring.

The café will include five international food stations. It also will offer a variety of international beverages and snacks, including microwaveable options, grab-and-go alternatives and kosher choices.

“We are still dealing with the national labor shortage that impacted campus dining during the fall semester,” says Eric Blackledge, executive director of Campus Dining & Shops.

“We continue to recruit and interview, but we expect to open the café in the spring with two stations: “Kali Orexi,” which will serve foods from Middle Eastern countries, Turkey and Greece, and “Tikka Table,” which will offer fare from the different regions of India,” Blackledge says.

The three other food stations — “The 1864 Grill,” “Pan Asian” and “The Noodle Pavilion” — would be phased in, probably by the fall, as UB gets more job applicants, Blackledge says.