For the first time in 12 years, Hillsdale College and Bon Appetit Management Company have updated the Knorr Family Dining Room seating.
The changes, which came at the beginning of the fall semester, were planned more than a year ago. The booth seats were reupholstered with a burnt orange pleather after the idea was brought over the summer by D&N Upholstery from Blissfield, Michigan. The upholstered chairs were also replaced with wooden ones.
“The college has been really good to work with to update and maintain their facilities,” General Manager of Bon Appetit David Apthorpe said.
Bon Appetit has projects completed every summer. Some of them aren’t visible to the student body, such as installation of new kitchen equipment.
While the booths were out of use, Bon Appetit supplemented the seating with more chairs.
“The updates didn’t really inconvenience me at all,” sophomore Megan Mayernick said. “It was funny to watch students temporarily use chairs instead of the booths in between replacements, but it really didn’t impact me.”
More than 400 chairs were rickety and in need of repair, and only about 100 were usable before renovations. The new chairs appear to be sturdier and easier to clean.
“We worked with the college to pick out the color of the booths,” Apthorpe said. “The thought behind it was to find colors that would go with the center fireplace.”
“I have always enjoyed sitting in A.J.’s Cafe or dining hall booths with enough room for friends, spending time with them or studying,” sophomore Samuel Schaefer said. “When the school changed the booths, it just seemed like they were making an investment in one of my favorite spots on campus.”