Corelife Eatery, Halal Shack to Open at Schine as Kimmel Food Court Permanently Closes
Ricky Sayer, SYRACUSE, N.Y. – The opening of the renovated food court in the Schine Student Center later this month will bring the closure of SU’s longtime on-campus late-night food spot, CitrusTV can now confirm.
Syracuse University Food Services employees received an email Friday which confirmed the closure of the Kimmel Food Court. The same email, which an employee shared with CitrusTV, also gave an indication of what new food vendors will be available at Schine when it opens for the start of the semester on February 8.
Employees were given a preference of working at the following locations at the renovated building: “Schine Halal Shack,” “Schine Pizza,” “Schine Core,” “Schine Panda,” “Schine Dunkin Donuts” and “Schine Floater Food Court.”
The names don’t appear to be in all cases the actual brand names of the restaurants.
“Schine Core” appears to be a reference to the healthy-food focused Corelife Eatery, which has three locations in the Syracuse area, where the company is based. Chris Campbell, the manager of the Dewitt location, confirmed to CitrusTV that the company was opening a location at SU.
The restaurant offers grain bowls, green bowls, broth bowls, rice bowls, “power plates, and, at some locations, tacos. Campbell said the SU outpost would offer their full adult menu.
“Halal Shack” is the name of an Upstate New York-based “Middle Eastern Street Food” restaurant with locations at nine colleges across the country, including the University of Albany, Howard, UT Dallas and San Diego State, according to their website.
CitrusTV reached out to the company to confirm their “Halal Shack” and SU’s “Schine Halal Shack” are the same. We’ve not heard back at the time of this article’s publication.
“Schine Pizza” is an apparent reference to the Tomato Wheel, the university’s branded Pizza chain, developed to replace Sbarro in 2018. In December, a look into the windows of Schine showed a large, artisan-looking pizza oven.
It’s not fully clear what specific restaurant “Schine Panda” is or what will be offered at “Schine Floater Food Court:” Two Syracuse-area Panda Express locations closed in 2018, according to Syracuse.com.
“Schine Dunkin Donuts” is a reference to the Dunkin’ locations that will open on the side of Schine’s Central Atrium. A knowledgeable University source told CitrusTV in 2018 that the university hoped the location could stay open 24/7.
The same source said that the university planned to close Kimmel Food Court once Schine reopens. Schine is about three blocks away from Kimmel, closer to the University’s academic core.
Before it underwent a large-scale renovation, Schine Food Court was open from 7:30 in the morning to 7 in the evening. At that time, Kimmel Food Court, which is a block away from eight university dormitories, was open from late afternoon to as late as 2:30 am on weekends.
As of 2018, the university was planning to keep the renovated Schine Food Court open until late at night, the university source said. The university believed that if they kept both food courts open, students would continue to go to the aging Kimmel late at night, instead of the newly opened Schine Food Court a few blocks away.
The food offerings at Kimmel provide a stark contrast to the healthier options which will be available at the renovated Schine. Students, often walking home from parties and gatherings late at night, could stop at Kimmel to grab mozzarella sticks, burgers, burritos, ice cream and more.
Restaurants at Kimmel included Trios (Burgers/Fried Food), Queso’s (TexMex), The Tomato Wheel (Pizza), a deli, a Dunkin’ and Haagen Dazs. Restaurants at Schine included the Tomato Wheel, Dunkin Donuts, The Deli News, the Fleet Street Grill, according to the university’s website
Of those restaurants, only a pizza shop and Dunkin’ will be available at the renovated Schine Student Center, not including what may be available at the “Floater Food Court,” according to the email sent to Food Service employees.
It’s still possible that student-favorite “Schine Quesadillas” as well as ice cream could be available at the renovated Schine Student Center. The university is set to release official information about the new food court’s offerings next week.
CitrusTV reached out to the university last week to ask about the specific status of Schine Quesadillas and have not yet heard back. On Instagram, the university responded to a comment asking about the quesadillas with an eyes emoji.
A small market was available at Kimmel.
With students unable to go into each other’s dorm this past semester due to the pandemic, Kimmel has also been a social hub of sorts at the center of the university’s largest cluster of on-campus student housing.
The closure of Kimmel leaves SU sophomore Brent Huot “frustrated and upset,” he said. “I understand Schine will be 24/7 with a variety of food options, but Kimmel is just (was just) that much closer and more convenient.”
Another student, Porter Holt, agreed that the university overlooked how important Kimmel is to many of the second-year students who live on campus.
Holt said it doesn’t make any sense to close Kimmel in the middle of a pandemic. “We are supposed to be limiting gathering and staying spread out as much as possible,” Holt said. Having both Kimmel and Schine open at the same time would make that easier, he added.
“It just seems like a ploy to get more students on main campus more often, which makes zero sense during COVID when they should be doing the opposite,” Holt said.
It’s unclear if a portion of Kimmel could stay open as a study space. The university has worked over the past few months to open up spaces to students to allow for social distancing, The effort has included work to open up the Carrier Dome to students looking for a place to study.
The news of Kimmel’s closure was first reported by the Tab late Friday night. Since the report, and CitrusTV’s confirmation of the university plans, students and alumni have mourned the loss of Kimmel on Twitter.
Jake Marsh, a 2018 SU grad and Sports Business ‘Reporter’ for the extremely popular sports podcast “Pardon My Take,” wrote on Twitter that the closure of Kimmel was a “devastating blow” to the Syracuse campus. “Quesadillas at Queso’s and a fully operational Häagen-Dazs attached to your dorm was clutch when it was -10 degrees out,” he wrote.
Not everyone is mourning the food court. Another alumnus, 2017 grad Nick Papantonis, said SU doesn’t need Kimmel if Schine is open 24/7.
It would be a generous assessment to say Kimmel had “mediocre” food, he said. “It’s where you go when you’re a) wasted or b) desperate.”