Campus News

New dining facility delayed, name changed

The RAD Center, will host six new food concepts but won’t be fully open until the fall of this year as the pandemic is still having lasting effects on its production. |Anh Le/The Cougar

Due to construction and supply chain delays, the Retail Auxiliary and Dining Center, formerly The Hub, will now fully open in fall 2024 despite an original opening date of this spring.

Replacing the Student Center Satellite, The RAD Center will open another location of the UH staple The Nook Cafe, and a new Market location in early February. All six food concepts won’t be fully open until the fall of this year as the pandemic is still having lasting effects on its production.

“The pandemic was a huge factor in delays for the project from significant inflation which required revising the scope of the building,” said executive director of Auxiliary Services Deborah Huebler. “And supply chain issues that arose during that time, in addition to delays from weather.”

The Nook, which has been a part of campus since 2013, will see little differences in the RAD Center’s location, offering similar menus and services.

“I think it’s great we’re expanding within campus,” said Nook shift lead Katia Maldonado and UH alumna. “The staff and students have built a great relationship and we’re hoping to bring that same experience and familiar faces to the second location.”

Opening with the rest of the center this fall are The Burger Joint, a hand-crafted burger and milkshake eatery, The Taco Stand with authentic tacos, tortas, burritos and more, Paper Lantern, an Asian grill and sushi place, and Absurd Bird, a chicken shack.

On top of construction delays, The RAD Center has also undergone a name change. The change was due to conflicts with another building also to be named the hub. The Innovation Hub, which is set to start development soon and will open next fall.

Planning for The RAD Center, then called The Food Hall, began in 2018 after the underground Student Center Satellite experienced significant flooding. While it was slated to open the summer of 2022 delays caused the groundbreaking ceremony of the center to take place that year instead.

“We know that with the closure of the old Satellite building in 2019, a sort of food desert was created on that portion of campus,” Huebler said. “The opening of the RAD Center will help fill a gap in food options for campus customers who work, visit and study in that area; and will contribute to a more robust and comprehensive dining program for the overall campus.”

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