PROVIDENCE, R.I. — The long awaited opening of The Beestro, formerly known on campus as The Cafe, is underway. This new and improved restaurant is set to open on Oct. 24 with an expanded menu. Arthur Patrie, the Director of Dining and Retail Food Services for Rhode Island College, explained the concept for The Beestro, saying, “A bistro concept is more eclectic. We wanted to expand from a set menu and provide entrees that we could rotate.” He further explained that in the past there was a static menu that mainly appealed to residents using their meal plan bonus dollars. The expansive menu will attract more commuters with entree, soup and snack options.
Most of the new menu is sourced from local businesses. Gotham Greens, which is a local greenhouse and the on-campus greenhouse will provide various ingredients including fruits, vegetables and salad dressing. Beverages like soda and lemonade will also be locally sourced. Patrie said, “We want to introduce customers to local food and variety.” This locally supported menu includes all the favorites from the original Cafe, plus a wide variety of new menu items.
Business hours for The Beestro will be 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Sundays, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Monday through Thursdays, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Fridays and closed on Saturdays. However, hours may be subject to change in the future.
The origins of The Beestro name itself comes from the new beehives on campus as a way to connect the restaurant to different aspects of campus. It’s a part of one of Patrie’s main goals — to connect dining services with more student groups. This includes expanding outdoor seating, installing speakers outside to play WXIN, placing flowers from the environmental club around the dining center’s patio, dedicating a section of the Donovan Dining Center (DDC) to Student Community Government and setting up tables in the main dining area for clubs to recruit. Patrie added, “We’re trying to make the dining area a center for community.”
Since the pandemic started, dining services are implementing many changes to provide safer ways for students to still be able to have meals on campus and enjoy the DDC. Some of these changes include sanitary stations and the ability for students to place online orders for their food using the GET app.
There are also changes that are occurring to give a lively feeling to the DDC while still following COVID guidelines like highlighting student activities, dynamic seating with lounge chairs and decorations to make the space more lively. “These are hard times for everyone and we want to provide a sense of normalcy.” Patrie says.
Patrie continued, “We want to provide good food, good service, good environment and good community.”
To learn more about The Beestro and updates at the DDC, visit https://www.ric.edu/department-directory/college-dining-services.