Moreton Fig opens for dinner

Moreton Fig, the upscale restaurant in the Ronald Tutor Campus Center, has extended its hours to include dinner and happy hour Monday through Friday.

After its grand opening in August, Moreton Fig was only open for lunch, 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. The restaurant has expanded its hours, however, and is now open from 4 p.m. to 7 pm. for happy hour and 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. for dinner.

“To have Moreton Fig available for lunch, dinner and happy hour — that’s what we had always planned. Since, we opened nine restaurants at the same time, though, we thought it more beneficial [for Moreton Fig] to be open for lunch first,” said Kris Klinger, director of USC Hospitality.

Adding dinner hours meant adding a dinner menu, which offers similar items to what is served at lunch — with a few specialities just for the later meal.

These new hours has also opened the restaurant up to a broader audience, Klinger said, attracting more student customers who might be available for dinner instead of lunch.

“I see a lot of grad students coming in around happy hour,” said Blake Shaw, a junior majoring in business administration and a waiter at Moreton Fig.

Although Moreton Fig aims to service everyone on campus, Klinger said, the majority of its customers are professors and administrators, as most students are not willing to pay for a more expensive meal. Klinger admits that most people will likely not eat there everyday, but said he expects customers will frequent the eatery once a week or once a month.

“College students are known to be on a budget; I can’t afford to spend so much money on one meal,” said Thalia Ertman, a freshman majoring in East Asian languages and cultures.

Some students disagreed, however, saying there are reasonably priced items on the menu and that the price reflects the quality of the food and the quality of the experience.

“I often come [to Moreton Fig] for lunch; it’s usually a lot faster than going to the rest of the campus center, and it can also be cheaper for the quality of food you get,” said Madison Orgill, a sophomore majoring in fine arts and a waitress at Moreton Fig.

Moreton Fig is meant to be the nicest out of the nine dining options in the campus center, she said, so its atmosphere helps perpetuate the fine dining experience.

“Moreton Fig is classy,” Orgill said. “It’s a great place to bring a date because it’s not too formal, but it’s nicer than some other places on campus.”

Moreton Fig has tried to bring local and sustainable food choices into its kitchen, stating on its menu that the restaurant uses and supports “organic, small family farms whenever possible.”

“We’re trying to be reasonable and approachable; we’re trying to match our food philosophy with the setting of the restaurant,” Klinger said. “Both the quality of food and the quality of service speak for themselves.”