CWU purchased the former New York Teriyaki and Burgers building in April 2018 for $850,000. According to CWU Vice President of Business and Financial Affairs Joel Klucking. For now, the building remains vacant except for leftover kitchen utilities from the previous business.
The property, located on the corner of University Way and North Chestnut Street, has a wide range of potential uses. The future of the building is still being determined.
Director of Auxiliary Operations Joseph Pearson said that CWU’s short-term intention is to take advantage of the cooking equipment already in the building and offer a new dining experience to students.
A new dining service could take on several different forms, it could be a place that sells locally grown produce, or it could be a restaurant with a specialization in beer and wine. Pearson said that they are looking to create a dining experience that is not currently being offered on campus or in the community.
CWU is also exploring possible ways to benefit CWU’s programs. Pearson mentioned the possibility of using the building in conjunction with CWU’s Craft Brewing program.
CWU Dining Services is in charge of figuring out the short-term plans for the building. Pearson explained that part of the reason they haven’t made any concrete decisions is Dean Masuccio’s transition to Director of Dining Services. According to CWU News, Masuccio has succeeded Dan Layman as Director of Dining Services as of Sept. 17. He brings 18 years of dining service experience from his time working in Housing and Dining Services at the University of Washington.
As for the long term, CWU is playing with the prospect of converting the space into a new welcome center for students and visitors.
“For us, that has a lot of potential to be the grand entrance to campus,” Klucking said.
Klucking said that there are a lot of different directions CWU could go with the property, and that CWU is always looking for border properties that allow the campus to expand.
Klucking explained that because of the property’s location, it would certainly be a good investment for CWU down the road.
“It was a good hundred-year decision,” Klucking said.
Vice President of Student Life and Facilities Jocelyn Matheny spoke about the university’s constant need to expand in order to suit the needs of the ever-growing student body.
“With a growing number of students, we’re just running out of spaces,” Matheny said.
Pearson said there is considerable planning and work to be done before the building opens its doors to students, which he hopes to do by Fall 2019. The long-term purpose of the building is still undetermined, but Pearson and Klucking are hopeful that it will be figured out within the next five years.