Sept. 7, 2015
In the heart of Alpine Valley sits UCCS’ newest two-story dining hall, Roaring Fork.
Named after a Colorado river, Roaring Fork is a buffet-style facility with various food options. The new facility is able to serve students at a high capacity, explained Mark Hayes, director of Dining and Food Services.
Hayes pointed out the multiple food stations at Roaring Fork: Middle Eastern Tandoori, pizza, American and home style food niches. A salad bar is also in the center of the food service area across from a cereal bar.
Roaring Fork offers an allergen-free food bar as well.
“All of these are either vegetarian or vegan, so it’s actually another option there,” said Hayes.
Hayes also mentioned Roaring Fork has a rotisserie oven and a smoker and explained that not many other university dining facilities have those capabilities.
“It offers us a lot of flexibility in menu design,” he said.
The reception of Roaring Fork has been positive among students. Nekia McBride, a sophomore theatre major, said that “Roaring Fork has the best food ever.”
She continued to say that the views are also beautiful, and the two floor design is appreciated.
Alfredo Macha, a freshman in electrical engineering said the food is “stellar.”
Although the dining hall currently offers only a buffet, the future will bring more features. Tucked at the base of the facility is the still under construction Alpine Express.
Alpine Express is a small store that will have multiple grab-n-go food options. The store will also have an espresso machine. The possibility exists to offer small hot food offerings such as sandwiches, Hayes said.
It is expected to be open late hours, with the projected opening date in fall 2016.
“There’s a chance that by the time it gets done, and depending on staffing, we might look at spring semester, if not, it’ll be next fall,” Hayes said.
A scratch bakery is also planned to occupy part of Roaring Fork, but is not set to open for two more years. But Hayes mentioned that donuts may be offered from the bakery in the spring.
Around 40 students are a part of the staff at Roaring Fork.
“There’s only nine cooks here, all the rest are students,” Hayes said.
With the opening of Roaring Fork, the old dining facility, The Lodge, is set for renovation over the summer. Hayes said there are several possibilities for the changes.
“We’re thinking of having some type of pizza oven over there, similar [to Roaring Fork] but it’s smaller,” he said. “Changing how the hot lines are, trying to create some more individual stations, it’s [currently] a very old design.”
There will most likely be similarities between the two facilities, but the menus will not be the same.
The Lodge and Roaring Fork also differ in their meal times. The Lodge offers breakfast while Roaring Fork does not. But brunch is served at Roaring Fork on the weekend and an omelet bar is open.
The menu is the same for lunch and dinner at Roaring Fork, with eight to 12 entrees available.