Six New Restaurants Opening At TU's Improved Student Union
TULSA, Oklahoma - The hub of any college campus is the student union, and as classes start Monday at The University of Tulsa, the college is renaming the activity center to be the student union.
Now with six savvy new restaurants, the $7 million project is the school's new tool to recruit students.
More than 4,500 students head back to classes on the TU campus Monday and they'll be joined by six new options for on-campus eating.
Food Services Director Mike Neal hopes to see many smiling faces zipping in and out.
"We've had students that have actually come in that have just looked around and said, 'this place makes me smile,'” Neal said. "We really wanted to find a place where students felt real comfortable coming in and actually being here a lot of hours of the day."
For breakfast, lunch and dinner, students can get salad, pasta, bagels, sushi, burritos and pizza. They can also shop at a new convenience store with art done by Kendall-Whittier students.
“We're trying to capture a lot of happiness with our students and get a lot of new things in and keep a lot of people here and happy,” Neal said.
To get student approval students, themselves, chose which eateries would come to campus.
"Pretty much every kind of thing we asked for is here now,” said Student Body President, Michael Manicini.
One of the winners is Owasso-based Baja Jacks, owned by Jack Coleman.
"Oh it's so cool. I mean, especially being a local concept. The fact that they chose us over, I think all the other brands were national brands, everything else in here is a national brand, and we're just a local restaurant that has done well, and students appreciated it and food services appreciated it and gave us a chance,” Coleman said.
Manicini said, "The local people from Owasso are probably most excited about it, but everyone is really going to enjoy it I think."
Neal hopes the public also enjoys it; especially prospective students.
"When the prospective students come through and they see everyone having such a good time here, it'll just make them want to come to TU, also,” he said.
In October another restaurant, Star Ginger, will open in the student union. It's a Vietnamese restaurant owned by California celebrity Chef Mai Pham.
All of the restaurants mean 65 new jobs in Tulsa.