Campus, News

The Nugget Grill and Pub reopens after being shut down for over two years

The Nugget Grill and Pub finally reopened its doors on Dec. 5 after shutting down in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, providing the campus community with another long-awaited food destination.

Crowds of students, staff and faculty have been filing in and out of the establishment since its reopening on Monday to get a taste of what The Nugget has to offer. With a menu of wide variety, its return has been highly anticipated in adding to the limited list of food options available on campus.

For the first week of its reopening, The Nugget will be serving breakfast and lunch from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. It’s expected to operate on soft hours for the rest of this semester, with normal hours resuming in the upcoming Spring 2023 semester.

“This soft opening allows us to effectively train the staff and to find the right rhythm in serving,” said Miles Nevin, the ASI and 49er Shops executive director.

These soft hours of operation are not finalized and are subject to change.

Students are happy to see the business up and running again.

“I’m very excited. I’m a huge foodie,” said Julia Lee, a first-year speech-language pathology graduate student.

As the only other spot to serve alcohol on campus besides The Outpost, Lee mentioned it’s also a good place to day drink.

Lee said she attended CSULB pre-pandemic as an undergraduate student when the food options on campus were much more diverse.

“When I came back as a grad student, one of the biggest disappointments was the food available here since so much shut down,” she said. “I’ve pretty much been restricted to Subway and El Pollo Loco, which isn’t bad but it’s nice to have options.”

This was the third attempt to reopen The Nugget, but issues due to equipment repairs and hiring, plus training staff, got in the way.

“We tried the same time last year and in the spring, but it was mainly due to staffing issues. It took quite a bit to get applications,” said Clint Campbell, the associate director of commercial operations.

Mechanical repairs prolonged the opening process as well.

“We had to go through purification of the water system. A lot of equipment was turned off for two and a half years, so there were a lot of repairs and mechanical issues,” Campbell said.

Now that more meal variety is provided through the return of The Nugget, this represents the effort of continuing to bring services back to the campus community.

“We are hyper focused on restoring food service on campus for our students and for all of our other constituencies that come to campus every day,” Nevin said.

The Nugget is only using the GrubHub app as the ordering system for now. Anyone can walk in and dine, but they just need to order through the app.

“It’s a strategic decision to make sure that we can handle the flow of traffic and ensure that we’re serving folks the way they need to be served,” Nevin said.

With an intentional effort to bring food service back to CSULB, Nevin assured that they are working to bring back more services that are in demand. He said The Beach Hut is their next attempt to reopen.

“That’s why we reopened The Nugget and why we’re working to reopen The Beach Hut,” Nevin said. “We’re just going to keep looking at what we can do because we know the need is there.”

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