The University of Oregon Board of Trustees is meeting this Monday to discuss adding new vendors to the $95 million remodeled Erb Memorial Union. Potential vendors include Eugene’s local brewery Falling Sky, Chipotle and Starbucks, according to The Register-Guard.
The EMU food court will have up to eight food vendors, with the additions of a new grocery story featuring local grown produce and a new coffee house, Director Laurie Woodward said.
The university is also preparing to sign with Joe’s Burger of Portland.
The university is looking to provide a wide variety of food and beverage options, according to a survey last year, where students asked for a new Mexican or Asian vendor in the remodeled EMU. The EMU is also on the hunt for a new pub to “facilitate social gatherings and celebrations commensurate with the building’s heart of campus location,” the planning document said.
Falling Sky is optimistic with the university’s decision. The co-owner, Rob Cohen, has 15 years experience with running pubs in a university environment.
If the proposal goes through, Falling Sky will open in the fall of 2016. This would be the third pub for Cohen and his partner, after the success of the Falling Sky Brewing House & Gastropub and the Falling Sky Pour House & Delicatessen, both in Eugene.
When a vendor comes into the new EMU, it has to pay for the expense of building a kitchen and dining area. The university estimates the cost at $100,000 to $300,000 or more per venue, which is out of reach for many local businesses, including Holy Cow and Laughing Planet.
With a potential addition of a new pub, a Mexican vendor and more coffee houses, vegans and vegetarians may be left with limited options.
The meeting will take place at 3 p.m. in Room 402 of the Ford Alumni Center.