December 9, 2010
By Diane Hageman
What's old is new again. If you haven't had a chance to check out the recently reopened and remodeled McGlynn's Sports Café at the Haehn Campus Center at CSB, now is the time.
The official Home of the Blazers, McGlynn's features something not found on other college campuses: a décor and ambiance devoted entirely to women's college athletics.
Memorabilia from all 11 CSB sports, including old school jerseys, golf clubs, tennis rackets and other pieces of sports equipment, adorn the walls and hang from the ceilings. Full-wall murals provide a contemporary, urban backdrop of Blazer athlete photos, logos, motivational quotes and "grunge" artwork.
Sonja Gidlow, executive director of auxiliary services, and Heidi Everett, executive director of advancement communications, were the creative team behind the new décor.
"We chose an athletics theme since the athletics department is housed in the same building. We wanted to create an ambiance similar to a sports bar, so the sports equipment and uniforms in the décor made sense. The coaches were happy to support the project and went through their archives to donate items," Sonja said.
In addition to the new decor, a goal was to make McGlynn's the go-to place for meals and to satisfy those late-night cravings. Tom Oehler, director of culinary services, conducted focus groups with both CSB and SJU students in early 2010. The students indicated they wanted sub sandwiches and good burgers. Over the summer, more than 18 people entered a burger contest and the staff conducted taste-testings for bread, sauce and other recipes.
Now, students, faculty, staff and sports fans are feasting on fresh, hand-pattied certified Black Angus burgers, hand-cut French fries, chicken wings and made-from-scratch onion dill and asiago cheese sub bread. "We wanted to provide very high quality food and have developed a core menu that we are adding variety to with daily and weekly specials," Tom said.
"I love the decor and the variety of food available," said Sarah Hupperts, a CSB senior and golf athlete. "It really ties the whole Haehn Campus Center together and promotes all sports. I find that there are more conversations about Blazer athletics and it is building upon the sense of community that we're known for."
The hours were expanded, with the restaurant staying open to midnight Monday-Thursday (grill open until 10 p.m.), 10 p.m. on Friday (grill open until 8:30 p.m.) and 8 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday (grill open until 7 p.m.).
The results so far? A smashing success.
The initial goal was to serve 500-700 meals a day which they have surpassed, now averaging 1,100 meals a day. They experienced a 15 percent uptick in business around volleyball matches and a 25 percent increase during basketball season.
"McGlynn's is a charismatic place where all members of our community - especially students - enjoy hanging out. It's a fun, funky and creative atmosphere where fresh, healthy and creative dining choices are available for every palate," Sonja said. "As faithful Blazer fans, we are excited to honor and applaud our amazing women athletes and inspire girls with women who are strong and accomplished in mind, body and spirit."