Apr 10, 2012

By Carol Moran and John Fischer

California Pizza Kitchen in Roth Cafe will close at the end of this semester, and the Faculty Student Association committee that recommends changes to campus dining is considering Red Mango to replace it, and Starbucks to replace Pura Vida downstairs, according to the minutes of the committee’s March 14 meeting.

California Pizza Kitchen is closing all its college locations, though the company did not give any reason for doing so, according to Angela Agnello, Director of Marketing and Communications for the Faculty Student Association. Agnello said CPK had the lowest number of transactions in the fall 2011 semester, compared to the Student Activities Center, Kelly, the Union, Wendy’s and Jasmine.

“Although fans of California Pizza Kitchen may be disappointed, this will give Roth Dining Center the opportunity to undergo a summer renovation, bringing an exciting new food concept for Fall 2012,” Agnello said in an email.

The Mean Plan Resolution Committee, which is made up of three appointees from Lackmann Culinary Services, two appointees made by the FSA Executive Director, one appointee made by the president of FSA, and up to six students or other members of the campus community, makes recommendations to the FSA executive director and the director of campus dining services.

“You live here for four years, you have to survive with the food on campus,” Jessica Fellows, a student cashier at CPK, said. “It’s nice when things change.”

But other students expressed concern that CPK’s closing would reduce the variety in food available on campus, and students may be forced to eat at the unhealthier option of Wendy’s.

“I don’t know where I would eat if CPK closed,” Emily Tobias, a student who lives in Cardozo College in Roth Quad, said. “Especially on the weekends because the SAC closes at six and this is the only thing open.”

On March 14, the committee discussed replacing CPK with either a Mexican-themed dining option or an Asian fusion concept with Chinese, Korean, Malaysian and Thai food, but student committee members said they were concerned that those options would not draw enough students, according to the minute available on FSA’s website. The committee said there is a possibility of adding a frozen yogurt kiosk, such as Red Mango, upstairs, and a name brand coffee option, such as Starbucks, to replace Pura Vida downstairs. The new dining option is expected to be open for the Fall 2012 semester, Agnello said.

Diane Poon, a student at Stony Brook who lives in Roth, said she eats at CPK at least once a day. “I feel like its one of the best food places in Roth,” she said. “But if it’s replaced by something better, it won’t be a tragedy.”