posted 2011-04-27 12:00:30

Hunter Fire Forgotten - Cafeteria Back to Normal

Hunter's cafeteria is back in (decreased) business. (Photo: Daniel Szunski/Envoy)
Hunter's cafeteria is back in (decreased) business. (Photo: Daniel Szunski/Envoy)
Hunter Fire Forgotten

Cafeteria Back to Normal

Alexandra Niemetz

Staff Writer

A little over a month after a fire broke out in Hunter's third floor cafeteria, daily operation is back to normal.

The manageable fire, which occurred on Monday, March 21 around 9 p.m., closed the cafeteria for several days while minor repairs were done, chiefly the addition of a slanted burgundy wall concealing the damaged portion of the food service area and the entrance to a set of registers.  This space is scheduled to reopen in fall 2011.

The most notable result of the shrunken space is the disappearance of the designated Italian food section, which contained pizza, pasta, and calzones. These food items now share different spaces throughout the cafeteria.  The pizza is in a small movie-theater type heater sandwiched in between “Joe’s Contemporary Kitchen” and the “Wrapped” section. The pasta dishes now share space with fries and chicken tenders.  In addition, about half of the register space has been cut in half.

In spite of the cafeteria's slightly minimized capacity, students and cafeteria personnel agree that the fluidity and rapid service haven't changed. According to  Michael Pierro, the retail manager of the Hunter College cafeteria,  “The lines are longer, but they’re moving faster.'

Pierro additionally noted that all of the food options have remained the same since the days of pre-fire lunch.

Hunter student  Daniel Lee, a 20-year-old psychology major, and his friend Adel Quadsi, a 20 year old chemistry major, agree that the food selection is the same to as it was before the fire. According to one student, the quality of the food may have even gotten better. “I think they upgraded,” said Daniel Druelinger,  a Hunter junior, whose primary focus is Pre-Nursing.

While standing in front of  “Joe’s Contemporary Kitchen” scanning his dining options, Khaled Boukerche, Hunter sophomore and physics major, noted nothing has changed since the fire.  He added that average waits in line are comparable to those before the fire.

Quadsi said that the lines had definitely not gotten longer, and that he thought that they had even felt shorter.

“The line wasn’t long when I was there,” noted Hunter student Sara Wong.

Druelinger said that he believed the business of the cafeteria had decreased. “It seems like the fire almost decreased the business in the cafeteria, it is definitely feels less busy here,” he said while sitting at table in the seating section next to the open registers.

Pierro confirmed that business had been slightly affected, but emphasized that not much has changed. “People were scared,” he said when asked how students and faculty members had reacted to the fire.

But students like Wong remained blissfully unaware there had been a fire. “I didn’t even know about the fire until a couple of days ago.”