University News

Andrews Commons to offer food, social space

Set to open in January, the eatery will feature Asian fusion cuisine and a large common room

Staff Writer
Thursday, December 5, 2013

Andrews Dining Commons, featuring a study space for 125 students and a food service area much like its predecessor the Gate’s, is slated to open for the first week of classes in January.

Andrews Dining Commons, a new eatery, campus center and study lounge, is on schedule to open in Andrews Hall in January, Senior Associate Dean of Residential Life and Dining Services Richard Bova told The Herald.

The new eatery will be a relocated and expanded version of the Gate, the only current on-campus dining option on Pembroke campus besides the Verney-Wooley Dining Hall. Bova said Andrews Dining Commons will function as a place for students to eat, socialize and study.

The future use of the Gate’s current space is still undetermined, Bova said.

There will be two main food stations in the eatery. The first will include some of the Gate’s current selections, Bova said, serving various types of pizzas, paninis and pastas. It will have the same pizza ovens currently used at the Gate. The second food station will offer an Asian fusion menu, with all the offerings containing fresh vegetables and ingredients, Bova said.

The front of the new space will feature a common area with seating for about 125 students, Bova said. There will be other seating for studying and socializing, including tables and more comfortable chairs and lounge areas.

Five glass-walled rooms around the edge of the room will offer a space for groups to eat and work together with some privacy, Bova said.

The space will include a seminar room for 25 people off a side hallway. The University will begin scheduling first-year and upper-class seminars in that space, Bova said.

There will also be a printing station in the new space, according to the Facilities website.

Andrews Dining Commons will have a contemporary aesthetic, with an open kitchen and a glass-enclosed staircase that will lead to a 24-hour study lounge on the first floor of Andrews Hall overlooking the patio, Bova said. This level will also have a large fireplace, according to the Facilities website.

Bova said the project is running “right on schedule” and that, aside from a few touch-ups, the space will be complete by Dec. 20. He said he expects Andrews Dining Commons to be open and fully functional during the first week of classes in January.

The space will be open from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. every day, Bova said. The V-Dub will continue operating only on weekdays, but Andrews Dining Commons will be open over the weekend.

Some students living on and near Pembroke campus said they are excited about the new dining space. Many said they felt that a comparable venue near Pembroke has been lacking, adding that they welcome the new common area.

Scott Freitag ’14, who lives off-campus near Pembroke, said he is excited about the more healthful options that will be offered in the new location. Freitag, a Herald opinions columnist, added that he especially hopes the eatery offers more high-protein foods than are currently available at the Gate.


  1. Daniel Moraff says:

    No mention the millions of dollars it cost to inexplicably pick up a dining hall and plop it somewhere else? Yikes.

    • Daniel, I read the BDH frequently and often notice your comments. How you pick apart the stories of your peers seems quite harsh to me. Your reactions never seem to be phrased in a constructive way and it seems that you frequently post complaints about things that are really outside the scope of the article. Certainly, examining the costs of this move could be an interesting article, but this particular story is about the timeline. Additionally, many of your complaints seem to surround the BDH not being critical enough of the University. Yet isn’t it the news team’s job to report in an objective way while the opinions team can examine the morality or decision-making process behind these ideas? Just a thought. You’re obviously a smart and opinionated guy, but you really come off as mean-spirited in these comments.

      • Daniel Moraff says:

        Pretty sure the cost of the thing that the article is about is within the scope of the article. Also pretty sure it’s objective.

        Also maybe talk to the many many students out there critical of this instead of just typing up dean quotes and glowing reviews?

        This is a controversial project. I think it’s weird that the article doesn’t reflect that or even consider in any way the consequences of the U pulling stuff like this. I don’t think that’s particularly harsh.

        • Moraff doesn’t want the university to spend money on “aesthetic” projects like buildings, cafeterias, facilities, labs, etc. He also likes to get angry when alumni give money to things he doesn’t approve of. He also doesn’t like that Brown has a corporation whose members have a lot of money. If he doesn’t like all these things then why did he bother coming to Brown? There are plenty of other choices for college.


            Brown is, in some senses, a place providing a service (like a business) but it is also a shared, communal space and semi-public thing, shared and owned by students, faculty, administrators, and alumni. To be ignorant of that second fact is to be ignorant of the very nature of a liberal-arts college / university in the first place.

          • Brown is owned by students and faculty? Really? Do they own shares in it or something? Is that how the University Charter is set up? We all know that Daniel likes to disagree with Brown. In fact, he seems to disagree and dislike everything. At some point, you have to ask — if everything about this place is so wrong, why are you here? It’s like going to BYU and complaining that you can’t drink or smoke. At the end of the day, Brown is a university with a particular set of characteristics — e.g, open curriculum, limited financial resources, underperforming athletics teams, Prof. Hazeltine, etc. It also happens to be governed by a corporation with wealthy members rather than a soviet of workers, peasants, soldiers and students. It is reasonable to assume that Moraff knew all this before he walked through the Van Wickle gates. It is not unreasonable to ask him why he chose to come to Brown if he doesn’t like so many things about it.

          • Kevin Carty says:

            Brown is shared and owned by students and faculty in a sense, not a fully proprietary sense, but in a sense, nonetheless. Students, for example, live here, eat here, have fun here, discover (often) their life’s meaning here, think here, write here, publish here, work here, interact here, join community organizations here, behave as a community here, care for each other here, act politically here, and do any number of activities which turn them into more than simply a consumer body of a service-delivery organization. Like seriously, this is not a standard market relationship and every reasonable person should know that. So, Daniel (and ALL unsatisfied Brown students, for that matter) have a right and a reason to both work to get their school changed and for that school to listen to them, simply because of the nature of the community.

            Secondly, saying that Daniel Moraff should just go somewhere else is COMPLETELY ignorant of the nature of the higher ed market, which is made up almost entirely of schools like Brown University. So, if a consumer is faced with an incredibly important market that does not offer him a sufficient stock of choices, does he not have a reasonable justification to protest that lack of choices and assert alternative possibilities that either do or don’t work in a market setting? I mean, come on.

            Yeah, so as a community member AND a consumer, Daniel has quite a bit of justification to place his (reasonable) grievances.

          • “the higher ed market, which is made up almost entirely of schools like Brown University” really? so Brown is the same as Rhode Island Community College, UVA, West Point, Notre Dame, Ohio State, RISD, etc.?

            “So, Daniel (and ALL unsatisfied Brown students, for that matter) have a right and a reason to both work to get their school changed and for that school to listen to them, simply because of the nature of the community.”
            If we take Moraff at his word — i.e. that his writings are not satire — he wants to scrap the Corporation because there are too many rich people on it and replace with, well, some sort of people’s council. The likelihood of that happening is pretty much nil. His ‘grievances’ – if you can even call them that – are simply absurd. “yeah man, let’s dump the corporation”. come on indeed.

          • Hi Kevin


    • Do you actually believe this or are you just Punking us?

    • While discussions of the cost are certainly relevant, I think the content of the article makes it clear that this is not a case of inexplicably picking up a dining hall and plopping it somewhere else. This is the creation of a new 24-hour student center on Pembroke campus, complete with study spaces, classrooms, and yes of course dining services. Anyone who’s lived on Pembroke campus (and I believe that includes you too Daniel) can see that this new student center promises to be much more than what the Gate ever was or would be.

      Sometime in the past two years (sorry I can’t quite remember exactly when), I filled out a student survey that asked whether or not I thought that such a space would be a beneficial addition to the campus, and I said yes. Clearly many other students also held that opinion because the University decided to undertake this project. This is not simply moving the Gate. This is a new student center with many resources that will enhance the Brown academic and social experience for the large quantity of students who live on or near Pembroke.

      As far as costs, Brown allocates a certain amount of funds for projects and renovations like this every single year, and many of them come from donations — hence the Perry and Marty Granoff Center for the Creative Arts, which cost $40 million. I don’t know specifics about costs (especially because, as you pointed out, the author of this article either did not have that information or chose not to share it). But I do know that compared to Granoff, the money that it would cost to create this Andrew Commons, which will directly enhance the academic and social experiences of countless students, is considerably less. And therefore, I think it’s a good investment in Brown University’s campus and future.

      • No one wants our facilities to be 2nd class and it is perfectly reasonable to spend money on renovations. However, the administration doesn’t use the money responsibility. Why would they spend money on 2 renovations of the Gate in the past 5 years if they were just going to create this new space? The problem that Daniel addresses is larger than this one project. The administration consistently places its pet projects over students’ (especially international/low-income students) needs.

        • Brown is Not the Third World says:

          It is ridiculous to say that building a place for ALL students (regardless of income) to study and eat is only in the interest of high income students. I have lived on Pembroke for 2 years, and the place desperately needs somewhere to eat with healthy food (doesn’t include pizza or paninis, sorry) that’s also open on weekends. Sounds like it will be the equivalent of Faunce for Pembroke, so Daniel’s argument that this is money ill-spent seems inconsiderate to the students who live on Pembroke.

          I also don’t buy this whole ‘every single extra penny Brown has should go to financial aid and not to other projects.’ Brown has a lot of students. Many are on financial aid and many are not. A school like Brown should have facilities that make students as comfortable as possible. The focus of projects like the Andrew Commons one is the student body as a whole, not just the ones who are on financial aid. I appreciate financial aid and the diversity it brings, but I also want to be comfortable and happy. Projects like this help the majority of the student body (anyone who hates the Ratty/Vdub but gets tired of the Blue Room crowding) and are therefore an important investment.

      • Kevin Carty says:

        It’s true; the updating of the campus (in Pembroke AND Keeney) is in response to a groundswell of student support for better dorm and social spaces a few years back (of which you were a member, it seems!). So, that’s why all of these renovations are coming to fruition now, because they started financing for them then.

        This is actually deeply related to financial aid. The University’s current fundraising goals are actually oriented toward financial aid in a big way right now, as a result of student action like Daniel’s. I’ve heard direct examples of quotes from administrators along the lines of “Thank god students are interested in financial aid now, cuz they only cared about buildings a few years ago. And, Provost Schlissel has gone on quasi-record saying that there are currently 8-figure asks on the table for big donors SPECIFICALLY for the financial aid endowment.
        it’s just that the big fundraising asks won’t come through for a little bit (cuz fundraising is a slow goal and because they don’t report immediately). So, in 2,3,4,5,10 years, when the Financial Aid endowment grows beyond its current state, that will be a reflection of decisions made now by administrators, just as current building decisions are actually a reflection of decisions and financing processes which were started and undertaken a few years ago.

  2. That’s a cool space which was under used. When I was a Brown student in the 80s I had my first gig there with the rock band “Action Verbs”.

    • It’s just another goddam study space judging from the renderings. It’ll end up being just as anti-social as Leung Gallery in Faunce. What a waste.

      On campus the only rec space is the two pathetic 6 foot pool tables in the basement of faunce.

  3. Please. No more mirror-decked beams. Please.

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