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Gelato station in East Quad finally opens

By Amabel Karoub, Daily Staff Reporter
Published February 13, 2014

East Quad Residence Hall’s gelato bar is here — but actually.

East Quad’s long-awaited gelato bar opened in the Java Blue Café, and its official inauguration will be Friday at 4 p.m. with free samples and coupons.

The gelato bar features about 12 flavors — including raspberry, strawberry, raspberry chocolate, chocolate chip, cinnamon, mint, natural vanilla bean, chocolate and chocolate chipotle. East Quad Sous Chef Jeremy Moser said the gelato will be made with all local and fresh ingredients. He added that the gelato will cost about three dollars for a three-ounce cup.

“We’re just excited we’re making gelato here from scratch,” Moser said. “It’s a U of M product. It will only get better with feedback from the students and everybody else.”

The prospect of a gelato bar in East Quad gained a lot of attention during the residence hall’s renovations during the 2012 to 2013 academic year, but was not realized until recently.

The gelato bar was originally scheduled to open at the start of last semester. LSA freshman Alec Rosenbaum said housing staff members’ silence on the subject last semester upset him and other residents.

“I was very disappointed, just like everyone else,” Rosenbaum said. “I was told way back at orientation that we were going to have a gelato bar when this place opened. Then I moved in and there wasn’t a gelato bar, and then they didn’t really say anything. The thing that frustrated me the most is that they didn’t really tell people what was happening.”

Rumors have been flying about the reason for the unfulfilled gelato promise. LSA freshman Joseph Ambrose speculated about why the gelato machine’s installation took so long.

“They brought the machine, they had it shipped from Italy,” Ambrose said “There’s a whole debate whether they broke it or if it was the company’s fault.”

Peter Logan, communications director for University Housing, provided a clearer account of what happened. The gelato machine was part of a bid package that included all of East Quad’s kitchen and counter equipment. The machine was faulty when East Quad received it in the fall, so housing staff decided to exchange the machine at no additional cost.

“It just wasn’t a good machine,” Logan said. “So we finally decided to replace it.”

Despite the housing staff’s good intentions, many East Quad residents are angry about the long wait. LSA sophomore Amelia Runco said she feels the promise of gelato may be too good to be true, adding that she thinks there is widespread discontent with East Quad’s dining services.

“It better be delicious,” Runco said. “We’ve waited long enough for it to be good.”