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New location, expanded food options at Founders' Cafe
October 11, 2004
By David Roach

The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary community has a new option for on-campus dining.

On Oct. 4 the Founders' Cafe moved to a new location across the hall from its former home and debuted a revamped menu that includes made-to-order pizza, hot and cold sandwiches, salads and expanded dessert selections.

The new cafe features the decor of an outdoor European coffee shop complete with a water fountain, iron gates, outdoor-style furnishings, awnings, live plants and low lighting for a casual atmosphere. The cafe's amenities include multiple televisions where students will be able to watch news broadcasts and sporting events.

"We've had some people come by and think it's oh so fancy," said Chef Pam Price, Southern's director of dining services. "The students give up a lot of things to be here, and food shouldn't be one of them. I wanted a really beautiful place for them to be able to come with a water fountain and fireplace in the winter and beautiful furniture. So that's what this is."

With a seating capacity of 40-50 and food service available from 7:30 a.m. until 10 p.m., the new location serves as an ideal place for student social activity, according to Clark Logan, Southern's senior vice president for institutional administration.

"We hope it becomes a gathering place for students," Logan said. "The cafe gives students another place to hang out and be social and just relax."

In addition to providing a location for social gatherings, the cafe will also "give folks a quicker place to grab a bite if they are in a hurry, and [it will be] especially beneficial for folks looking for food after cafeteria hours," Logan said.

Price noted that the new location offers relief from overcrowding at the old Founders' Cafe.

"We became so crowded at Founders' Cafe," she said. "People would come in, but there was not enough room for everyone to gather and sit. You would have to grab and go. I wanted to be able to create something that students would really enjoy and love to come sit in."

If the new cafe draws students as expected, seminary administrators plan to add an outdoor patio onto Founders' in the spring, Logan said. The outdoor section will offer students a place for casual outside dining, he said.

"If this is a hit, we're going to expand into a sidewalk cafe," Logan said. "Assuming everything goes as planned this fall, we're going to go ahead with the expansion."

Originally the seminary planned to rename the renovated cafe based on suggestions from students. But after considering several suggestions, administrators opted to keep the name "Founders' Cafe."

"The overwhelming response from students was to keep it the Founders' Cafe," Price said. "Then the executive cabinet had the final say, and they agreed."

With its new look and expanded food options, Price looks for the Founders' Cafe to be "an asset to the seminary."

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