by Allison Shaw
After it closed during the Fall ‘21 semester, students who have been awaiting the reopening of Roanoke College’s quick service restaurant, The Cavern, need wait no longer! Intended to be completed by the Spring ‘22 semester, delays held the reopening back until the start of the new school year. Now, Cavern is back with a whole new look and service system, which mirrors other popular quick service restaurants.
The first and most obvious change to the new Cav is the makeover. The seating area has been updated with more space, comfier chairs, and the addition of booths along the walls. The wooden flooring and light walls brighten the feel of the room, and decorations have been added along the walls including the Roanoke Maroon logo. Additionally, the outdoor dining patio adjacent to Cavern has been outfitted with more tables and chairs, making it easier to dine outside with friends on a nice night – one of my favorite ways to enjoy The Cavern thus far. Overall, the feel of the dining area is much nicer, resembling more of a restaurant atmosphere, and makes the space feel more inviting.
Maroons who were worried about potential changes in menu will be relieved to know that the Cavern is indeed still offering the same quick meals we grew to appreciate. “It’s still Cav, it just looks better,” remarked student Erinson Romero-Archilla when asked about the updates. Indeed, the Cavern still offers the same menu of sandwiches, burgers, wraps and salad, however the new ordering system allows students to watch the making of their meals, which is a quick service method that has been recently popularized by the success of restaurants such as Chipotle. There have been a few different methods used since the reopening, one of which involves diners filling out orders forms, similar to what was previously used by Cavern before the closing.
Despite the updated seating, however, not everyone is entirely satisfied with the new Cavern. Perhaps one of the less welcome changes to Cavern is the fact that the hours have been reduced to only serving students at dinnertime. “I don’t like that it’s only open for dinner. I think that makes it more crowded,” said an anonymous student. Vegetarian Maroons should also keep in mind that while there are options at Cavern, they are incredibly limited.
Despite the shortened hours and occasionally lengthy wait times, Cavern was a staple of Roanoke College dining that was missed during the Spring ‘22 semester. Thus, the makeover and consistency in menu are welcomed back to Roanoke.