The University of New Mexico (UNM) unveils a whole new dining experience at the newly renovated La Posada, the Main Campus’ premier dining hall located in the heart of the student residential neighborhood.
This almost 50-year-old building now features new dining options, natural light, a more collaborative dining area, a safer entrance and modern, energy efficient building features.
Tim Backes, associate director of UNM Dining & Food Services believes students will especially appreciate the variety of new food options available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
“La Posada is one of the few dining facilities in the country that offer around the clock dining to its patrons,” said Backes. “Students, staff, and faculty can choose from authentic New Mexican cuisine, cook-to-order meals, a large ‘super food’ salad bar and a station dedicated to offering vegetarian entrees and side dishes, plus many more.”
According to Chartwell's Resident District Manager Paul Wilson-Scott, La Posada serves more than a million meals each academic year
“With food all over the building, it’s now more of destination spot instead of one area (for food)," said Wilson-Scott. "Here at La Posada we serve 3,000 to 5,000 meals a day, seven days a week, 24 hours a day, which turns out to be just over a million meals a school year. This is a very important venue that we provide food for thousands of people a day serving whatever options they really like.”
The new stations will include:
- The Chef Innovation station – the centerpiece of the dining room atrium features chefs who will create customized dishes based on diners’ tastes. These cook-to-order meals will encourage engagement and showcase chefs who care passionately about culinary excellence.
- Salad Bar station – now larger than ever before with “super foods” added to the menu to fuel and nourish the UNM community.
- G8 station – this station was revitalized and now provides choices for diners who avoid “The Big 8” allergens and sensitivities.
- Rooted station – diners who want meatless options can choose from a variety of unique and colorful vegetarian entrees and side dishes.
- The Kitchen station (formerly American Classics) – guests can experience and savor their favorite comfort foods. Over the course of the fall semester, diners will be asked to make recommendations for dishes they’d like to see in the future at this station.
- ¿Red or Green? station – this new station offers authentic New Mexican cuisine where guests can enjoy fresh, local ingredients in flavorful recipes
Approximately 15,000 square feet of the just under 50,000 square feet facility was renovated over three summer months to provide improved accessibility and more functional space both indoors and outdoors. The building also features upgraded LED lighting with dimming controls, low VOC and recycled content in the new flooring, casework and finishes, and upgraded HVAC controls optimized for energy efficiency. It is expected these upgrades will offset energy consumption by as much as 20 percent.
“We really wanted to make the setting more modern and to provide more services for all our customers including students, faculty and staff including more made to order items and to better utilize the space," said Wilson-Scott. "We also upgraded the utilities including the HVAC and electrical to be more efficient and environmentally sound. We’re super excited to get started and to serve all the students this fall.”
Even though there will be many new items to explore when visiting La Posada, other “LaPo” favorites will remain: Grill Nation, Papa John’s Pizza, Einstein Bagels, Red Mango smoothies, the dessert station with bakery desserts and soft serve ice cream, and the Create station for sub sandwiches and paninis.
An official ribbon cutting ceremony and #EatLikeALobo Block Party is scheduled on Aug. 30, beginning at 3 p.m. at the new La Posada plaza. Following the ceremony, tours of the new La Posada will begin as well as food sampling of some of the new eats featured in the dining hall.
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