What are the benefits of both the Roost and the Grotto Commons

Alex Trabold, Staff Writer

Last Saint Patrick’s Day Mercyhurst University opened the Roost in the Student Union as a new place for students and visitors to eat meals.

Reception to this new restaurant has been highly positive.

It has been praised for having great food, a nice atmosphere, and being a unique new part of the Mercyhurst University experience.

However, this has raised a rather concerning question regarding other parts of the campus.

Mainly the Grotto Commons, where a majority of Mercyhurst students have chosen to eat for years.

Due to the high quality experience of eating at the Roost, some have wondered whether going to the Roost makes eating at the Grotto unnecessary.

While I can’t say I speak for all students here on Campus, my experiences at both places tells me that they can coexist without jeopardizing the other.

The reason is that both places bring their own unique experiences and food to Mercyhurst.

They also have proven useful to both the student body and the faculty at different times.

The Grotto Commons functions as a buffet.

While staff do serve food to customers, they do so at the whim of whoever approaches their station and asks for food.

Rather than making an order then waiting to be served, customers must seek out the food themselves.

Customers go about picking whatever is available at the Clean Plate, Grill, Salad Bar, the Oven, dessert station, and the Deli.

Not only are all of these stations offering different food for the students to eat, but their food selection alternates between days, meaning the Grotto Commons never serves the exact same food two days in a row.

On some days, the Grill is serving burgers.

On other days, it’s serving chili dogs.

In comparison, the Roost provides a much more consistent, but still unique experience.

Every day the Roost has the exact same menu, that is presented to every customer who enters.

Instead of finding food for themselves, they have to inform the staff of what their order is before being given a number that will inform the employees delivering the meal where you are seated.

And instead of immediately being given the food when asked, the Roost functions more like a proper restaurant where the customers wait with their drink while the chefs prepare their order.

Despite having a smaller selection of items compared to the Grotto Commons, there are items on the Roost’s menu that are not available anywhere else on campus, such as alcoholic beverages like Angry Orchard cider.

As for the times when I go to these two places, it depends on what time of day that I need to eat.

Most times, during the week I attend the Grotto Commons.

The buffet nature of the Grotto allows me to quickly get lunch or dinner, before any appointments that may be coming up shortly.

I go to the Roost mainly on Friday nights, when the week is over and I’m ready to decompress.

At that time, I am completely ready to enjoy a nice restaurant quality meal.

Usually this meal is buffalo wings with a side of fries.

People frequently praise the quality of the food at the Roost, and that praise is well-deserved.

Those buffalo wings make the whole week worthwhile, I swear.

However, I will admit that the Roost is limited in the times when it is open.

It’s only open after 4 p.m. on most days, limiting the amount of time in which students can visit.

Both places provide unique benefits to those here at Mercyhurst University, and I don’t see either of them going away any time soon.