After months of delays, Hoya Court construction has finished, and the food vendors should begin service later this week in a soft opening, featuring reduced hours and service prior to a grand opening Nov. 5.
“We had a few hiccups with getting our final permits for the health inspections — our last one is tomorrow,” Associate Vice President for Auxiliary Services Joelle Wiese said yesterday.
Hoya Court received its certificate of occupancy on Friday, which will allow vendors Subway, Elevation Burger and Salad Creations to apply for Department of Health inspections.
“On Thursday, we’re hoping that the divider will be down and the stores will be open for shortened hours,” Morey said.
The delays stemmed from problems within the city regulatory agencies but have not affected the grand opening date.
“The delay was really [the D.C. Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs]; it was beyond our control. They just had delays pushing stuff through their system,” Chief Business Officer Deborah Morey said.
Despite the holdup with permits, the businesses have still been preparing for the opening.
“All of the employees are hired, they’ve been doing some training [and] we’ve been doing as much as we can,” Josetta Moore, district manager for Aramark, said. Aramark will operate the Hoya Court locations.
On Tuesday, temporary services in the Leavey Center, including Einstein Bros Bagels and Roasted, will cease and revert to pre-construction operations.
“The plan is that [Tuesday], after business, Einstein will go back to Regents Hall and Roasted will go away,” Wiese said. “Wednesday is kind of an influx day; we’ll be training and moving all the food in. We’ll be working with all those pieces for the soft opening.”
Roasted, currently operating in Hoya Court, will close, but it may be re-open in the future, as the administration has received positive feedback on the cart. Subway, which has been where Grab ‘n’ Go used to be, will move back to Hoya Court.
“None of Subway’s equipment is coming back. All of the Hoya Court equipment is brand new, so it’s the latest and greatest technology that Subway has,” Wiese said. “It’s just the staffing that’s moving. After Wednesday, the Subway employees will just start to work here.”
The Marketplace Express Grab ‘n’ Go, which is currently located on carts in the hallway, will move back across to its former location, where Subway is now.
The shortened hours will lengthen throughout the weekend, as the grand opening approaches.
Wiese said that they are looking at opening the storefronts from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
“It all depends on when we pass the department of health inspection, as soon as we get that passed, it will determine what happens on what date,” she said.
According to Wiese, concept training for most vendors has occurred off site, with the exception of Subway.
“We also have trainers from each of the brands who will be here — through the soft opening into the grand opening — on site with us to help the employees with anything they might need assistance with,” Moore said.
The grand opening Nov. 5 will take place at 10:30 a.m.
“The mascot will make an appearance, and there will be sampling,” Wiese said. “It will be a lot of fun. We don’t want to give it all away though.”