Reduced class sizes, paused academic services on campus and social distancing measures have all been enacted during this new era on campus. Another change this unprecedented time has brought to campus? Adjustments to dining services. All indoor seating options have been closed in favor of socially-distanced tables outdoors, underneath tents set up outside of Montgoris Dining Hall and the Residence Village. Outdoor seating and takeout will remain the only options until indoor dining is allowed in New York City. In Montgoris Dining Hall, self-serve stations have been removed, and now dining staff serve students to ensure limited contact. All food is served to-go style and face masks are required for all staff members and students. Dining hall staff members are also subject to daily wellness screenings.
In addition to the changes made at pre-existing campus dining spots, a new dining location in the D’Angelo Center opened this semester. The restaurant, Paper Lantern, took the place of Bok Choy and serves Asian-style cuisine, such as sushi burritos and ramen noodles. Paper Lantern is open Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. According to sophomore Keara Shea, Paper Lantern is “a great addition to the restaurants in the D’Angelo Center. It’s nice to have a new dining option on campus this fall.”
While long lines during rush hours could pose a threat to the well-being of the campus community, St. John’s has implemented and enforced social-distancing markers in Montgoris Dining Hall and all other dining options on campus. To help avoid long lines, St. John’s has expanded the use of the Boost Mobile app, which allows students to order-ahead from their favorite spots on campus. St John’s is also testing mobile ordering kiosks to ensure shorter lines.
Sophomore Emma Andoh believes that these precautions are “a necessary and effective part of being back at college during a pandemic.”
“These new rules ensure the safety of all on-campus St John’s students while eating. Without these safety measures, students could be at risk of contracting COVID-19,”Andoh said.
Outside of Montgoris, restaurants and seating options in other locations have closed to accommodate social distancing guidelines as well. In the D’Angelo Center, Mondo’s Subs, The Sweet Shoppe and Smoked are all closed. Taco Bell, Sushi Do and Paper Lantern remain open. In Marillac Hall, Pom & Honey and 2mato Pizza are closed. Subway, Burger King, Freshens and Market Marillac remain open. The Red Storm Diner in St. Vincent Hall has closed as well. However, the nightly hours of Montgoris have been extended until 1 a.m. every night to accommodate the closing of the diner. After the dinner period ends at 10 p.m., Montgoris serves diner-style food like pancakes and burgers.