Duncan Center debuts new eateries, exercise facilities


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It’s called Duncan Student Center, but faculty and staff are just as welcome here. If the Smith Center for Recreational Sports (Levels 3 and 4) doesn’t draw you inside, the three micro-restaurants on the first level will.

The venues will offer everything from coffee beverages and smoothies to Asian street food and farm fresh whole food options that will appeal to vegans and meat lovers alike.

Deciding on the types of fare and the atmosphere was a collaborative community effort. 

From very early in the process, representatives from Student Affairs, Facilities Design & Operations, Campus Dining, and Student Government worked together to determine the types of restaurants that would be a good fit for the student center. What quickly surfaced was a common desire to bring novel, contemporary venues with healthy snack and meal options to the space. 

“I am confident that student opinions were not only taken into consideration, but also were the driving force behind these venues being chosen. All three will be excellent additions to the new student center,” said Becca Blais, student body president. 

Mariah Cressy, web manager for Grotto Network (grottonetwork.com), works in Corbett Family Hall on the east side of the stadium. She is not just excited about how close the micro-restaurants are to her work, but as a vegan, she’s looking forward to expanded lunch options.  

“Before venturing out to campus eateries during my lunch hour, I usually scour the menus online to find out if/how I can modify certain dishes to make them vegan. It’s comforting to know Modern Market is taking that into consideration from the get-go!”

“We’re so excited with our latest micro restaurants,” says Chris Abayasinghe, senior director of Campus Dining, adding, “These newest additions to our retail dining portfolio integrate nutrition, environmental stewardship and sourcing practices with the latest trends in dining.”

The restaurants opened on Monday, Jan. 15. Here’s a rundown of what you’ll find there, plus some dish recommendations from Campus Dining staff.

Hagerty Family Café

Hours: SundayWednesday,
7 a.m.
7 p.m.; Thursday–Saturday 7 a.m.midnight

  Enter Duncan from the north end and walk into the relaxed ambience of Hagerty Family Café. The restaurant will feature Intelligentsia brand coffee, Freshëns® Fresh Food Studio smoothies and crêpes and a host of delicious pastries and gelato made by Campus Dining’s culinary team. You’ll also notice a stage in Hagerty where you can enjoy periodic musical performances, readings and comedy club events.

Campus Dining recommends: Nitro Coffee, Nutella Supreme Crêpe and the Vitality Superfood Bowl.

Modern Market

Hours: Monday–Friday,
7:30 a.m.–6 p.m. and
Saturday–Sunday, 10 a.m.–6 p.m.

     Just inside Door 15 of Duncan is Modern Market, a farm fresh eatery chain created by Notre Dame alumnus Rob McColgan ’02 and Anthony Pigliacampo, who left their day jobs in 2009 to open their first restaurant. Modern Market’s mission is simply “to serve amazing, healthy food to as many people as possible.” Dishes are made from scratch using whole, simple ingredients and are able to satisfy any dietary requirement, from gluten-free to vegan. 

Campus Dining recommends: Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal, Basil Chicken Sandwich and Steak Caesar Salad.

Star Ginger Asian Grill

Hours: SundayWednesday,
and Noodle Bar 

11 a.m.10 p.m. and Thursday
Saturday, 11 a.m.2 a.m.

This Asian grill and noodle bar is also just inside Door 15. A creation of Chef Mai Pham, who recently visited campus as a guest chef, Star Ginger offers simple dishes inspired by Asian street food and flavors from Thailand, Vietnam and Singapore.

Campus Dining recommends: Vietnamese Pho Bowl, Lemongrass Tofu and Thai Chicken Curry.

Smith Center for Recreational Sports

If you made a New Year’s resolution to get into shape, you have an added incentive to keep it. The Smith Center for Recreational Sports opened on Jan. 8. The recreation center, which can be found on the third and fourth floors of the new Duncan Student Center, boasts triple the amount of fitness space that was available in Rolfs Sports Recreation Center. Rolfs is being renovated into the Notre Dame men’s and women’s basketball practice facility. 

The new Smith Center for Recreational Sports enables RecSports to offer the Notre Dame community a broader variety of fitness classes and equipment, including high-intensity training opportunities. The center is the flagship of RecSports’ facilities, featuring a 1/6-mile suspended indoor track, a bouldering wall, and a 37 1/2-foot climbing wall that spans three stories inside Duncan.
The wall will be open for use on Monday, Jan. 22,
at 4 p.m. 

Additionally, the Smith Center includes a new basketball court. Three new courts have also opened in the North Dome of the Joyce Center and are available for use by the Notre Dame community. Rockne Memorial, meanwhile, will continue to offer fitness equipment and classes, a weight room, a gym and a pool. 

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“The new Smith Center for Recreational Sports inside the Duncan Student Center provides an innovative space for the Notre Dame community to stay active,” stated Mark Williams, director of recreational sports. “We are looking forward to the opportunity that the new facility will provide for recreational and educational opportunities.”

University students, faculty and staff and their spouses, as well as retirees, are invited to take advantage of the new recreational facilities. To access Smith, patrons must have the newest version of the Notre Dame ID card. 

Visit recsports.nd.edu for more information on RecSports programs and facilities.