New restaurant to replace Fiesta Fuego in Fall 2022


Photo by Alyssa DeWig

The former location for Fiesta Fuego will soon be replaced with Mein Bowl.

Alyssa DeWig, Staff Writer

Plans for new restaurants and dining options on campus are currently in the works for Fall 2022, including a restaurant called Mein Bowl, robotic vending and a ghost kitchen. 

Rebecca Diamond, director of dining services, said Sodexo’s goal is to have Mein Bowl operating in Fall 2022, but there is no set date for the restaurant to open. Mein Bowl is an Asian concept, Diamond said, and “we will be utilizing them for sushi.”

The restaurant will be located in the old Fiesta Fuego in University Center East and is owned by a refugee family, Diamond said. 

Fiesta Fuego was closed in Spring 2021 due to low staff and student traffic. Food from Fiesta Fuego was moved to a station in The Loft on Tuesdays and Thursdays. 

There are several other dining plans for the campus’ upcoming future currently being considered. Diamond said campus will have a “ghost kitchen” where students will order either through GrubHub or a self-ordering kiosk. She said there won’t be a storefront, so if students get burnt out with the food options, it will be easy to change the menu as there won’t be a logo to the restaurant. 

The ghost kitchen’s Apex lockers where the students will pick up their food will be in between the current Cyclone Salads and Fiesta Fuego. Students will receive a code, put in the code and the locker with their food in it will open, Diamond said.

There is also a possibility for a restaurant with robotic vending where Cyclone Salads currently resides. Diamond said Yo-Kai is one option they are looking at, which is an “upscale noodle bowl.” Another option would be Chowbotics where a salad robot, Sally, would allow for students to come up, select their items and Sally would put the food together for them, Diamond said. 

Diamond said they may be getting a pizza ATM where students would walk up, select their pizza and toppings, and the “piping fresh pizza would be ready for you in a few minutes.”

There is also talk of possibly putting in a MrBeast Burger, Diamond said. She said she and Sodexo are “in the beginning stages” regarding all of the new food possibilities on campus.

Campus will also bring forth more plant-based options for students since they have received  many requests. Gregory Dillard, campus executive chef, said, “There was a lot of push for plant-based, so we’re following the trend for that.”

Diamond said, “Sodexo’s goal is by 2025 to have 42% of, mainly The Loft, vegan or plant-based.”

Jerzey Reibold, freshman psychology major, said she is happy campus has vegan options due to her dietary restrictions. She said some campus options are hard to navigate. 

“I kind of find The Loft confusing, but if they gave us a little tour or something, it might help,” Reibold said.

Diamond said students have been pushing for more campus food options, and they will be excited to hear about the news of Mein Bowl as well as other dining options.

She said she has heard a lot of students say they are “burnt out and looking for something new.” She said the new restaurants will “bring some more variety” to campus.

Dylan Patterson, junior psychology major, said, “I think the more options students and staff can have the better. I think the options we do have are good, but more options, especially healthier ones, would help a lot.”

“Right now, the main four are SubConnection, Chick-Fil-A and The Loft, and they can get busy really quickly, which can be really inconvenient when you’re in between classes,” Patterson said.

Diamond said she hopes next semester “students can be patient when school first starts because it’s going to be a learning process for everyone.”