Two new storefronts are now open in The Shoppes at Donaghey Hall.
Twisted Taco, which replaced Mosaique Bistro, opened Aug. 20, while Einstein Bros. Bagels, which replaced Blue Sail Coffee, opened Aug. 21.
There are plans to build a UCA Welcome Center, which is expected to be completed by the end of summer 2019.
It will occupy the space where Uncle T’s Food Mart once was.
General manager for the food service provider Aramark Jim Nabors, said there were reasons for adding Einstein Bros. Bagels and Twisted Taco to UCA’s food retailers.
In regards to Einstein Bros. Nabors said, the Donaghey Hall location will be easier for community residents to access than the Student Center location.
Because of the limited parking, Nabors received feedback that it was difficult for nonstudents to access.
As for Twisted Taco, Aramark considered student surveys that showed students wanted a Mexican restaurant on campus.
UCA’s Twisted Taco is the restaurant’s first location in Arkansas.
“I’m expecting not only for it to be the UCA campus, I’m hoping for the community’s involvement also,” Nabors said.
Students, faculty and staff can use BearBucks and Dining Dollars at both Einstein Bros. Bagels and Twisted Taco, but students cannot use their meal plans or meal equivalency rates.
Twisted Taco will serve alcohol, but BearBucks and Dining Dollars cannot be used to purchase it.
Christina Madsen, associate vice president for communications, public relations and marketing at UCA, said the decision was made to place the Welcome Center at Donaghey Hall because it was easier for nonstudents and their families to access than Bernard Hall, which is located in the middle of campus.
The Welcome Center will be a place to welcome families wanting to tour campus, and a place to discuss academic advising, housing, admissions and scholarships.
“When you walk in, that will be your central hub for all your information with admissions and anything you need there,” Madsen said. “Then if you want a cup of coffee or if you want to have lunch or ice cream, you’ve got all that right there, too.”
The Space Trek Bicycle once occupied will function as an extension of the Welcome Center, as well as a place for extra meeting rooms.
Madsen said there is a real need for extra meeting spaces.
When students are looking for a place to study and want to check out a room at the Student Center, oftentimes the rooms are booked. The meeting rooms in Donaghey will provide that necessary space.
One of the reasons why many of the storefronts in Donaghey closed was because they couldn’t sustain
enough business during the times when students were on break.
Nabors said Aramark is accustomed these months with little student business at their campus locations, so they will be better prepared to sustain the businesses.
During the breaks, the stores will be open with limited hours.
UCA’s grand opening for the new shops is tentatively set for September, Madsen said.
Marble Slab Creamery and the UCA Makerspace are the only storefronts that have not closed since Donaghey Hall opened in fall 2016.
Across campus in the library, Starbucks is currently being remodeled and is set to reopen at the end of October.
Photos by Lauren Swaim