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Hungry Students Landing in Hawk's Nest

Foodie Evolution Hits South Campus

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Kevin Sorge celebrates his success in his new T-shirt, after downing fiery wings with aplomb.

By Sheila Eppolito

If there was any doubt about the importance students place on their food, their active participation in renaming the former grill room in the South Campus dining hall should clear things up.

When UMass Lowell Dining Services asked for input in naming a new food venue on South Campus, 425 responses flooded in. 

“Food is big – especially for college students,” says Rachel DiGregorio, marketing manager of Aramark. “We knew people were clamoring for more fresh salads, grilled selections and homemade soups.”

The newly named Hawk’s Nest (a shout out to student Aria Rich, who submitted the winning entry) offers a wide variety of sought-after items, including grilled pomodoro pizza, hand-pressed potato fries, and The Bird of Prey, a ranch burger with onion strings and leaf lettuce on a fresh baked kaiser roll. But the Talon Tenders are perhaps the biggest hit, thanks to a brainstorm by South Campus Chef Jarrod Mailey and Dining Director Jeff Wood.

The Talon Challenge!

If you’ve got intestinal fortitude – and you’re not afraid of a little hot sauce, you’re invited to take the Talon Challenge. Participants who successfully consume five sauce-drenched tenders in less than three minutes get a t-shirt. Losers get an ice cream pacifier made by in-house pastry Chef Erin Schwartz and a photo on the Hawk’s Nest Wall of Shame. 

A Bite at a Time

The Hawk’s Nest’s opening is the latest in a multi-phase effort to enhance dining options at the University. In the past two years, both Subway and Starbucks have opened on South Campus, and a major redesign of Fox Hall will feature 10 food stations with an array of fresh, grilled, homemade entrees and freshly baked treats. The Fox Hall renovation will take place over the summer, in time to greet tired and hungry students in the fall.