Fertitta Café will welcome customers at one of USC’s newest facilities this fall. Located in the Jill and Frank Fertitta Hall, the cafe will be the latest addition to USC Hospitality’s 26 existing dining establishments at the University Park campus.
In a unique collaboration with the Marshall School of Business, Fertitta Café is among the building’s most anticipated amenities for many students. It will serve as the premier Asian-themed dining venue on campus, offering a wide selection such as dim sum, banh mi and sushi.
“One of the things student wanted that we did not have enough of was Asian food,” said Kris Klinger, the assistant vice president of retail operations at USC Hospitality. “After communicating with Dean [James] Ellis at Marshall, we both agreed that the theme would really cater to our school’s diverse demographic.”
According to Klinger, a fundamental aspect of campus dining is theming and differentiating each venue. Fertitta Café, expected to be a dining hub for many Marshall students, will offer an expansive menu unique from other venues operated by USC Hospitality throughout campus.
In its developmental stage, the chefs at USC Hospitality spent an extensive amount of time researching and were able to curate a menu with many different options for customers.
“We thought about we’d like to offer and what would give our students a broad spectrum of flavors,” Klinger said. “We spent several months partnering with local restaurateurs to help our chefs come up with our recipes.”
The cafe is designed as a food court with six stations that will serve bao, banh mi, dim sum, noodle bowls, salads and made-to-order sushi. USC Hospitality will also partner with local bakery Phoenix Dessert to bring fresh desserts to the venue. In addition, the cafe will sell a variety of Asian snack foods, such as wasabi chips and Pocky sticks.
Across campus, USC Hospitality has offered a limited amount of Asian food on the menus at its cafes. Prior to Fertitta Café, Tutor Hall Café was one of the only venues that had served banh mi and ramen. With the opening of the restaurant in the fall, Fertitta Café will integrate all the elements that have been missing in USC’s campus dining into one place.
The cafe’s space will be able has a seating capacity for approximately 125 people inside the building. Outside of it, benches and tables have been placed in the courtyard that connects Fertitta Hall to Popovich Hall.
Along with the opening of Fertitta Café, USC Hospitality has made efforts to improve students’ dining experiences. Later this fall, Popovich Café will be re-themed to serve Mediterranean food, with specific menu items still being finalized. In addition, menus at Literatea and residential dining have been re-evaluated to address the dietary needs of the USC community.