The University of Georgia is known for its rich, extensive history, dating back to its founding in 1785. The UGA dining halls are no exception. Here are some almost-forgotten factoids that any hungry Dawg can appreciate (if you're willing to think back in time longer than the 20 minutes that your sandwich has been in existence).
All facts, unless cited otherwise, are from The History of the University of Georgia Food Services (1991), obtained from UGA Auxiliary Services.
1. Denmark Hall
Denmark Hall, which is now used for lectures, actually served as a dining hall for more than four decades from when it was erected in 1901.
Also known as "The Beanery," Denmark once offered daily meals for up to 250 students, serving 49 at a time. Food service cost just $9-10 per month back then, which was much more affordable than most local restaurants at the time.
2. The Old Bolton
Serving an average of 6500-7500 students on a daily basis, Bolton dining hall is currently the largest and arguably nicest dining hall on campus.Its award-winning atmosphere can be attributed to its fresh remodel in 2014, when it replaced the old dining hall of the same name (aka Old Bolton).
Old Bolton was located about 800 feet up Baxter Street from its current location, resurrected in 1963. It could seat 775 patrons, while the new one has space for more than a thousand.
In the east wing of the building, many banquets have been catered by Food Services, among which former US President Jimmy Carter and one of the Kennedy brothers have eaten.
Old Bolton already had a pasta, Mexican and sandwich section. However, the new Bolton includes all that plus a 50s-style milkshake bar, and an all-day breakfast section with made-to-order omelettes, waffles, and pancakes.
3. UGA Farm
One hundred years ago, the food served in the dining hall came directly from their own food production. The university ran a farm on 105 acres, which had a poultry house with 500 chickens, a dairy barn with 27 cows, a vineyard for 250 grape vines, and a canning house for vegetables and fruit. This helped keeping meal prices low and allowed Food Services to offer scarcities like eggs in the winter.
Oglethorpe dining hall (aka O-House) was actually owned by University Inns, Inc., a private firm. UGA alumni may remember the dining hall for the dances that were often held there.
UGA Food Services acquired O-House in 1979, 14 years after it was built. Renovations included upgraded equipment and a larger staff, as the capacity of the dining hall increased three-fold.
The acquisition also included the Oglethorpe residence hall as well as a pool behind the dining hall. During its renovation in 2012, the pool was filled and a large extension of the dining hall built on top of it.
In 1987, the dining hall was renovated to buffet-style, where students could serve themselves. Currently, it has multiple dining concepts including a Mongolian Grill, Mexican fare, and the Joe at the O' coffee bar where students can use a touch screen to order custom coffee drinks.
5. McWhorter Athletic Dining Hall
Walking past the UGA Coliseum, you wouldn’t think that a dining and residence hall once stood there. However, there was actually a complex similar to today's O-House called McWhorter Hall. It was named after Robert McWhorter, a former mayor of Athens, law professor, and a famous UGA football player.
Constructed in 1967, McWhorter exclusively served athletes who lived a little too isolated back then, as they lived and ate in the same place together.The hall offered one of the best amenities within the South East Conference, and allowed coaches to better control their student athletes' diets. In 2005, McWhorter was demolished and replaced by a parking lot.
6. Taste of Home Café
Taste of Home is a program where families can submit their own recipes that will be served at a large event. Hosted by UGA Food Services every year since 1987, students get a chance to dine with their families and remember what eating was like before all the pizza and canned ravioli in college.
While you can also enjoy a selection of these dishes in the UGA dining halls, there used to be a café which served them exclusively. It was located on the 4th floor of Tate and remained open until 2013.
7. Nutrition Website
Who doesn’t like searching through hundreds of pages and showing everyone that they’re super serious about nutrition? We certainly have today's technology to thank.