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Chick-fil-A, other dining options open for business in remodeled Klondike

by Luanne Williams

A much-anticipated trio of restaurants opened on Wingate’s campus Thursday, with Chick-fil-A, Freshëns and Bento serving up lunch and dinner in the newly remodeled 5,500-square-foot Klondike. The food court just off the University’s Academic Quad was swamped with customers beginning at 10:30 a.m.

“This is something I’ve been looking forward to all year – gosh, I could probably say all four years,” said Jared Overstreet, a senior communications major from Durham who had just gotten his meal from Chick-fil-A. “I think this is really great for upperclassmen and people leaving in the next semester. I think it’s really good for them to have a great food option before they leave campus.”

Students order food at Freshens in the Klondike

Students visiting the remodeled Klondike on Thursday expected to wait a long time to get their food. The lines were certainly long, especially at Chick-fil-A, but they moved quickly, thanks to an efficient serving staff.

“The line was out of the door when I got here. I was expecting that,” Overstreet said. “But it went really quick. It probably took about 10 minutes for me to place my order. I was expecting today to be a madhouse, but it was really good. It was a good first experience.”

Freshman Jaclyn Deal, another Chick-fil-A diner, said she waited just five minutes for lunch and was thrilled to have more options.

“I haven’t tried them yet (Freshëns, Bento), but I’m excited,” she said.

Finishing touches are still being added to a new Provisions on Demand (POD) convenience store also in the Klondike and expected to open in the next week or two. A grand opening for the restaurants is being organized for Dec. 2.

A male college student gives a thumbs up while eating a Bento bowl.

"We are pleased to see how excited students are about this new dining and social hub on campus,” said Cameron Jackson, assistant vice president for auxiliary services. “The feedback and general vibe from students regarding the expansive menu options, great flavor profiles, speed of service and vibrant atmosphere have been very positive." 

Chick-fil-A was Wingate students’ No. 1 choice for a new dining option, according to last spring’s Bulldog Poll. The restaurant’s menu includes all the chain’s standard items, with meal exchanges offered for sandwich combos and nugget meals.

Freshëns Fresh Food Studio offers a health-focused menu that is allergy-sensitive, with vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options. The chain is known for its “100% clean” smoothies. And when Aramark, the University’s food-service provider, brought Freshëns samples to campus last semester, they got rave reviews.

Bento was added to fill a growing demand for sushi and other Asian favorites. In addition to sushi, its Pan-Asian menu includes noodle bowls and other specialties. The chain touts its “rolls, bowls, boxes and teas.”

The University announced in April that the restaurants were coming, and construction to transform the Elm Promenade facility began in the summer. Students can use cash, credit or Bulldog Bucks at all the eateries, with two meal exchanges per day at Chick-fil-A and Freshëns and no time limit between swipes.

Nov. 14, 2019

  • Blue&Gold Bulletin