Update on Union dining options

By Justin Etzine September 12, 2018

Hello, RPI! I hope everyone had an exciting first week of classes and is getting settled into the new semester! As we ramp up with activities and events—and, of course, our classes—I would like to take a moment to recap some of the changes you may have noticed to dining opportunities with the Union that occurred over the summer.

Firstly and most notably, our McNeil Room will soon be home to a Panera Bread! Not many universities are able to call their campuses a home for Panera, so we are especially excited to welcome them into our Union. The expanded hours and their wide selection of food and drinks will hopefully fulfill the needs of students looking for something to eat for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. The change will allow for the McNeil Room to continue being utilized as a diverse, multi-purpose event space, and I am looking forward to the events already lined up for the semester. If you are as eager as I am, you might be wondering when Panera will be opening—hopefully, we will see a start of sales later this month.

A staple and favorite for our campus, Thunder Mountain Curry, has transitioned into their new home within the Rathskellar on the first floor of the Union, in the storefront closest to the elevator and Father’s Marketplace. This move has expanded the menu, and I am already a fan of their new offerings. For those of you who love their pad thai dish, it will be available starting later this month. Additionally, Mega Burger has rebranded into Collar City Sliders—a nod to the historical nickname for Troy, New York—which now offers miniature sliders for those who may be looking for a smaller bite to eat. Cusato’s Pizzeria has also expanded their menu to provide more alternatives for students looking for lunch, dinner, and late night dining options.

Additionally, you may have noticed some changes to Father’s Marketplace. Our faithful convenience store went through some aesthetic and layout adjustments over the summer, which will hopefully help our patrons—students, faculty, and guests alike—find the items they need as easily as possible!

With all these changes, I’m excited by what is still to come, so stay tuned for more information on dining in the Union as the year progresses.

On a different note, the Student Leadership Summit will be held this Saturday. This annual event provides our club officers with leadership and professional development opportunities along with the chance to complete essential trainings, like the Bystander Intervention Training. The event required sign-ups in advance, and I am looking forward to the scheduled sessions—especially our keynote speaker for the day, Amma Marfo. Our Union staff have been phenomenal in coordinating this event, especially our incredible Maria Roberts, who has worked to coordinate the Summit and its many exciting sessions. For those who registered, I look forward to seeing you there!

Finally, for those of you who may be interested in attending or learning more, the Union Executive Board holds regular meetings each Wednesday at 7 pm in the Shelnutt Gallery on the third floor of the Union. These meetings are open to the public, and you are all invited to attend if you are interested.

As always, if you have any questions or comments, please do not hesitate to reach out to me at Good luck with classes, and enjoy your week!