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Saturday, October 1, 2022

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Student-run restaurant Barron’s closed for yearlong renovations


Barron’s is located at the Hilton College and was first opened 1989.  Like Eric’s, which is also located at the Hilton, it was named after one of Conrad N. Hilton’s sons. | Rebekah Stearns/The Daily Cougar

Barron’s Restaurant at the Hilton will close for the remainder of the year for renovations, according to a recent online announcement.

The renovations promise to improve the experience for Hilton students that partake in running and managing the restaurant.

Barron’s was initially scheduled to reopen Feb. 13, but a complete remodel of both kitchen and dining room has taken longer than expected.

“Hilton College plans to do a complete renovation of its student-run Barron’s Restaurant with the objective of improving our student experience,” said Hilton College Dean Dennis Reynolds. “Barron’s will be closed for the rest of the year while the upgrades are made, during which time we will also be raising money for the renovation. Recent equipment failures have accelerated the timeline for this project.”

Named after one of Conrad N. Hilton’s sons, Barron’s has been serving foods and beverages at low prices since 1989. Not only does Barron’s feed hungry crowds, it also trains its student-workers in the art of restaurant management. Run almost entirely by Hilton College students, it is a one-of-a-kind restaurant found only on the University of Houston campus.

In the mean time, a temporary restaurant of sorts will be set up on Barron’s patio.

“Thanks to the creativity of our students, Barron’s will temporarily be turned into a pop-up concept with students cooking on the Barron’s patio, weather permitting,” Reynolds said.

Starting March 6, each week for the next five weeks, a different food will be featured. In addition, students will be rotating through Eric’s Restaurant and the hotel’s banquet department for more hands-on experience.

Students have an abundant amount of networking and internship opportunities within the college and restaurants, according to Hotel & Restaurant students Kelsey Samuel and Paula Diaz. In addition, Diaz said that working in Barron’s gave her useful tips and skills that are helpful for cooking at home and in the restaurant.

Cougar Grounds, another Hilton affiliated café, is located on the first floor of the Hilton College. It was the first-ever university coffeehouse used to train students in marketing and management skills and remains a hot spot for UH students to socialize and study.

For a more dressed up dining experience, there is Eric’s, located on the first floor of the Hilton. Also named after one of Hilton’s sons, Eric’s serves classic American cuisine for all meals. Similar to Barron’s and Cougar Grounds, Eric’s staff includes Hilton students.

Reynolds said the renovations at Barron’s will add to the Hilton College’s excellent reputation and enhance the learning experience for UH students.

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