For some University of Georgia students, Bolton Dining Commons used to be the least loved of the dining halls.
“I didn’t like the old Bolton,” said Heidi Johnson, a senior French major from Rock Spring. “I thought it was really nasty and the food wasn’t that great. The atmosphere was super ‘80s. I used to work at Creswell [Hall] as a desk assistant and even though I was right next to Bolton and on the meal plan, I never went there. It just wasn’t worth it.”
But the new Bolton is quickly becoming the go-to place to eat for those on the meal plan.
The dining hall, which opened this fall, set records for meals served within its first week of business. Bolton served nearly 10,000 meals Aug. 18, a record for any dining hall at UGA, said Jeanne Fry, executive director for UGA Food Services.
“I don’t think we’ve ever had 2,200 [people] for breakfast in one location,” Fry said. “We’ve been very close to that, but breakfast definitely was a record. We did way over 4,000 for lunch so that was a record as well.”
Although she’s happy about Bolton’s success, Fry said she expected high numbers on the first few days of class.
“We knew that it was going to huge,” she said. “That corner especially is very highly traveled, so we really did expect it. And it’s already leveling off.”
Bolton is located at the intersection of Baxter Street and South Lumpkin Street, right across the street from the Zell B. Miller Learning Center and the Tate Student Center.
Fry said there was also a record number of meal plans sold for the 2014-2015 school year, which she attributes to three factors.
“Number one: We kept the price the same as last year,” Fry said. “Number two: We have additional Sunday night service, and number three: The new Bolton.”
According to a previous Red & Black article, Bolton boasts 10 sections, including a bakery, a grill, a 24-hour breakfast counter, a deli, a Mexican food section, an Asian food section, a pasta section, a rotisserie section, a section serving traditional food found at the other dining halls and a milkshake bar.
Fry said most of these sections were already at Bolton but they just didn’t have the room for all of them to be noticeable.
Allison Harper, the public relations coordinator for UGA Food Services, said they’ve been getting positive feedback from students.
“They love it,” Harper said. “On our Facebook and social media, we’re getting just a lot of comments that are just very excited. They’re really happy about the meal plan. We also hear a lot of students who have graduated that are envious. I had a lot of students come in to Bolton and were not signed up for the meal plan and they were saying ‘Oh I think I’m going to do it this year because you’ve got Sunday service and all that stuff.’”
Logan Van Hagen, a freshman international affairs and anthropology major from Fairbanks, Alaska, said the dining hall is what she expected it to be, but she loves the building.
“I like the windows here,” she said. “They’re really nice to look out of.”
Jordan Pye, a freshman international business and management major from Augusta, said he really looks forward to eating at Bolton for the next few years.
“I think, especially compared to the other dining halls around here, it is better quality,” he said. “I like the variety of choices that they offer and I love the milkshakes.”