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Central Washington University

Fresh Bar and Panini Sandwich Shop to Open at SURC in Spring Quarter

Friday, February 28, 2020

CWU Dining Services will be introducing two new concepts to the CWU community at the start of the spring 2020 quarter: Fresh Bar and Panini. Both eateries will be located in Central Marketplace in the SURC.

Health and wellness will be the central theme at Fresh Bar, where students will be able to order freshly made signature juices, such as Spirit, which combines fresh carrot, apple, and beet juice. Other offerings will include invigorating morning shots created to give the mind and body a boost to start the day. 

“Healthy dining options are increasingly in demand on campus,” said Joe Ritchie, CWU Dining Services’ campus executive chef. “Fresh Bar gives us the platform to provide everything from wild, sustainable seafood to local grass-fed beef, and also utilize fresh fruits and vegetables from our Wildcat Farm when they are available.” 

Poke was introduced to Holmes Dining Room last fall, and it will become a fixture at Fresh Bar, with wild sockeye salmon served with a spicy ponzu, edamame, and fresh herbs. This space will also feature an organic salad bar, as well as daily organic meat and soup specials. Prices at Fresh Bar will remain consistent with the existing concepts in Central Marketplace, even with the inclusion of organic, high-quality ingredients. 

“We don’t want to punish people who are trying to eat healthy or who are seeking creative vegetarian or vegan options,” said Dustin Atkinson, general manager of Student Union Dining.  

These new options are being introduced in response to overwhelming feedback from members of the campus community who are requesting fresh, healthy, and fast options at an affordable price. 

“It’s exciting that we’re able to introduce a new concept focused on a lot of what we’ve been speaking to in the last year and a half,” said Dean Masuccio, director of CWU Dining Services. “We’re able to take that data we received through surveys, through student feedback, through meetings and various focus groups, and introduce a new concept to be able to meet the needs of the campus.” 

In addition to Fresh Bar, Dining Services will be converting Wrap and Roll into a new station called Panini. This concept will offer specialty toasted sandwiches and wraps, and customers will still have the option to create their own sandwich or wrap. 

“We are looking to bridge the gap between healthy, sustainable eating, and everyday meals,” Ritchie said.  

The menu at Panini will include signature items, such as the Italian Panini, featuring coppa sausage, salami, sliced tomato, fresh pesto, and arugula. Vegetarian options will include the Portabella Panini, as well as the classic Caprese Panini, combining creamy fresh mozzarella, basil pesto, and tomato. 

These new dining options are in line with the Menus of Change University Research Collaborative (MCURC), which serves as Dining Services’ benchmark for healthier and more sustainable food options on campus. 

Masuccio believes these new changes will be well received by everyone on campus.

“It’s about providing choices,” he said, “so even if you’re not particularly focused on health and wellness, we hope that this concept is something that draws you in because of interest and the awesome menu items that have been created by our culinary leadership.”

Media contact: David Leder, Department of Public Affairs, 509-963-1518,

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