Students Ready for New Food Options, University (Almost) Ready to Deliver

After months of waiting for new food options, many students, living both on and off campus, finally got some good news–it was announced in early August that Picasso Restaurant Group (PRG), a Michigan-based company, would start providing food services to the UM-Flint campus.

Now, halfway through the fall semester, many students are still feeling underserved. Despite PRG successfully re-opening and running the Blue Bistro (located on the first floor of the White Building), Cafe by Picasso (serving Starbucks and more on the first floor of the UCEN) and all catering services on campus, students feel frustrated (and tired of pizza) that the dining area on the third floor of the UCEN is still under construction.

“I think it’s tough to find, to get a breakfast place on campus. I feel like that’s something that a lot of people who live here miss out on,” said Jerry Vargo, a junior currently spending his fifth semester on campus.

“And now there is tons of lines in the pavilion, it’s just so crowded there and maybe it’s because there is not a lot of other options,” explained Vargo. As a student who is going on to his third year living in the dorms, Vargo says he is excited for the renovations in the UCEN to be finished.

While thankful for the restaurants in the pavilion, he feels the re-opening of the third-floor cafeteria will make dining much more convenient for students.

For those who are getting weary of the cereal and ramen noodle diet, UM-Flint has good news: While the official date is still being set, Jennifer Hogan, director of Event and Building Services, says The Picasso at UCEN, where the old Riverfront Dining Room used to be, will be operational towards the end of the fall semester.

“I’m anxious to get it open, we are working 24/7 to get it ready,” said Hogan.

According to the UM-Flint Dining Services website, The Picasso at UCEN will be open 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday.

All other food hubs by Picasso are already operating. The Blue Bistro is open 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Fridays. Cafe Blue will be running the same hours except for a Friday closing of 3 p.m. It also operates Saturday and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m.

So have no fear–The Picasso at UCEN is (almost) here!