New Eatery to Open in Fall: The Pilothouse to Add to Late-Night Dining Options

by   Posted on February 2nd, 2010 in Uncategorized

Kevin Loker, Connect2Mason Executive Editor

Come fall of 2010, Ike’s will not be the only late-night munchies option on campus. When classes start on Monday, Aug. 30, students will also have the chance to eat in the wee hours of the morning at The Pilothouse, a 120-seat dining facility adjacent to Eastern Shore and the new Hampton Roads dormitories.
Named and decorated to fit the maritime feel of the Hampton Roads’ namesake, the facility will serve a similar selection of menu items as Ike’s, and do so until the same time of 4 a.m.

According to Regional District Manager of Sodexo Denise Ammaccapane, while the final menu is still being decided, one menu item is a for-sure bet because of suggestions students have made for Ike’s and the rest of Mason’s on-campus dining: true New York-style pizza.

“Some people like Chicago-style,” said Ammaccapane, “but I’m from New Jersey [and] I just can’t do it.”

The Pilothouse’s kitchen, separated from the glass window-lined dining room, will house state-of-the-art equipment to make the pizza, as well as a flexible menu, possible. This area will be gated off outside of operation hours, allowing students to use the dining space for studying, holding meetings or lounging around throughout the day.

“When the facility opens, it will just be great to sit inside the building and look out into the trees,” said Project Manager Nancy Pickens. The facility’s full-height windows look out onto the forested section of campus between Dominion and Eastern Shore.

Additional seating will be located on the patio, which will surround the dining room and offer the same view of campus.

Though the patio may mean a chilly dining experience at 3 a.m., students may still be able to sit outside and enjoy a comfortable meal. According to Ammaccapane, talks are in the works that may end in both The Pilothouse and Ike’s being open for dinner.

“It makes sense,” said freshman anthropology major Sarah Baumgarten, who lives in nearby Eastern Shore. “It would be more convenient to have food options closer to our dorm. It would save a lot of time, and probably be more practical for dining with how crowded Southside can be [at dinner].”

Two E-bite stations will also be available to ease lines and waits. Like the E-bite station outside La Patisserie in the Johnson Center, the electronic cashier will allow students with money on their Mason IDs to purchase their meal from the same menu featured inside.

Depending on its success and reception, The Pilothouse’s services in the future may extend to pizza pick-up and/or delivery.

“I’d rather start out smaller and increase [the facility’s services],” said Ammaccapane. “It’s easy to increase. It’s hard to decrease.”

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