How are the dining options at Mercyhurst?

Bella Lee, Staff Writer

Across Mercyhurst’s campus, there are many locations where students can grab a bite to eat, pick up a coffee or simply stop by for a snack.

The Grotto Commons and the 501 Grille in Ryan Hall are the most popular stops, but The Roost, the Anchor Express, the Laker Inn and the Bookstore Coffee Bar all get their fair share of patrons as well.

I have eaten at all of these locations at least once, so I have seen all types of meals, drinks, snacks and desserts offered.

However, one cause of concern among the students here has been the hours that each of the dining services has to offer.

Are they fair to all the students on campus?

Let’s see what changes have been made and what changes could be made.

The Grotto Commons and the 501 Grille in Ryan Hall have very similar hours.

On the weekdays, the Grotto is open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., with the 501 Grille staying open until 9 p.m.

At the beginning of the semester, both locations had weekend hours of 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., until multiple complaints from students resulted in the Grotto pushing back their weekend opening time to 9 a.m.

Despite this, there are some stations in the Grotto, such as the grill, that do not open until the original time of 11 a.m.

This disappoints me, because I will go to the Grotto at around noon expecting to get a burger from the grill, but they are still serving breakfast sandwiches.

The 9 a.m. opening time can still prove problematic for some students, such as athletes.

I’m in marching band, and on most Saturdays, we have football games or exhibitions that require us to arrive at practice early in the morning, so we don’t get time to eat breakfast at the Grotto.

The 501 Grille’s hours can also be annoying to those who live in Ryan Hall, since they would want a meal but neither the Grille nor the Anchor Express open until 11 a.m. on the weekends.

The Anchor Express, also located in Ryan Hall, has one of the most widespread hours of operation on campus.

On the weekdays, it is open from 7 a.m. to 1 a.m., whereas on the weekends, those hours are 11 am to 1 a.m.

The Anchor Express’ late night closings are helpful to those that need last-minute toiletries or snacks, but the 11 a.m. opening on the weekends can still disappoint residents of Ryan Hall, who would have to trudge over to Grotto Commons if they want breakfast.

The Roost, the very popular pub on campus, also has very versatile hours of operation.

On Monday through Wednesday, it is open from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.

On Thursday it is 4 p.m. to midnight. On Friday, it is open from 10 a.m. to midnight.

On Saturdays, it is open from noon to midnight, and on Sundays from noon to 10 p.m.

The Roost is a popular hangout destination, and I go there often with my friends if I want to get a mocktail.

Even if we are up late at night on the weekends, the midnight closings help us stay as long as we need to discuss concerns about classes, clubs and more.

The Laker Inn and the Bookstore Coffee Bar are the only two locations on campus that are not open on the weekends.

The Laker Inn is only open Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., while the Bookstore Coffee Bar is open Monday through Friday from 8 am to 4 pm.

The Laker Inn’s popularity has gone down since The Roost opened this past semester.

However, students still flock to the Laker Inn if they are passing from class to class for a quick drink or snack.

I’ve only gone there once, to get a frozen hot chocolate, but it was delicious.

The Bookstore Coffee Bar, on the other hand, is located in a studying and socializing hotspot.

I have purchased many a strawberry acai lemonade from the coffee bar, and they never fail to amaze me.

It is also the perfect place for me to grab a quick bagel for breakfast if I don’t have time to make it to the Grotto before breakfast.

If you need somewhere to eat on campus, there are many options available.

Want as many ice cream options as possible?

Head over to the 501 Grille.

Want a personal pizza made just for you?

The Anchor Express has you covered.

Need an early morning pick me up?

Get some Bookstore Coffee.

No matter where you go, there will always be a dining hall that will be there to cater your needs.