Redhawk Dining Takes A New Direction


Adeline Ong

Outside Hawk’s Nest Bistro | Adeline Ong

The start of a new academic year has brought many changes to Redhawk Dining, most notably the grand reopening of the Hawk’s Nest Bistro. Located on the top floor of the Student Center, the Bistro has been closed for the past two years due to COVID-19 concerns, but is now buzzing every evening with dozens of students enjoying pizza, wings, ice cream and conversation. 

“The food is of good quality, freshly made and although it takes a while sometimes because it’s busy, it’s always worth it,” Second-year Premajor Noah Rydell said.

Rydell, along with many others, now regularly eats at the Bistro. 

The success of the Bistro’s return was echoed by Redhawk Dining Resident District Manager Andrew Gaynor.

“The outpouring of customer support for the Bistro has been overwhelming, with us seeing volumes higher than any time in Hawk’s Nest history,” Gaynor said. 

Students wait in line to order from Hawk’s Nest Bistro | Adeline Ong

Along with the Bistro, Gaynor described other changes he and his team have chosen to implement based on the feedback they received from students last year. Some common requests included dietary friendly and vegetarian options as well as the incorporation of authentic products from local businesses and community members.

“[La Escondida] was created with the help of our associates from Mexico as a community project to preserve authenticity,” Gaynor said. “They chose the name, design and color scheme for the space.”

Redhawk Dining has also partnered with multiple local favorites from around the Seattle area this year. New additions include partnerships with Blazing Bagels, which is now served at The Bottom Line in Pigott; Boon Boona coffee is available at Sidebar in Sullivan Hall; new signature toast made with local Coeur d’Alene bakery bread and fresh produce from around the PNW is served at Pudget Pour; the aforementioned Mexican eatery La Escondida has taken up residence in the basement of The Cave; and fresh baked cookies as well as local Umpqua ice cream are offered for dessert in the Bistro.  

Second-year Criminal Justice and Psychology major Anela Jones shared her excitement about these new changes. 

“I spent a lot of time eating off campus last year because I didn’t feel there were enough options,” Jones said. “I love the new bagels in Pigott, and the variety of choices in the dining hall have been really good so far.” 

These changes did not happen overnight. Gaynor and his team have overcome numerous challenges in order to give students the best possible experience..

We had to get the 700 degree oven recalibrated, while also getting the new crew trained on safely executing in the very hot fast-paced environment. We are working diligently at hiring and training additional crew members and look forward to continuing to see the high guest turn-out each evening in the Bistro,” Gaynor said.

Their efforts have not gone unnoticed by Seattle U students. Students are both excited about the new dining options and appreciative of the efforts of the staff. Both Rydell and Jones expressed high praise for the dining team. 

“The staff always makes the experience a whole lot better,” Rydell said. “They are always happy to see us.”

Jones echoed the sentiment.

“They have a lot of patience, I can’t imagine how stressful it is sometimes with how many students are in the Bistro at once,” Jones said.

Despite the positive reaction, Gaynor isn’t finished making efforts to reach out to students.

“In the coming weeks, we will be launching our Voice to Vision guest satisfaction survey to gather feedback which will be utilized to make further changes and enhancements to the programs,” Gaynor said. 

Redhawk Dining is drawing dozens of students back into the dining hall, excited to try all the new options. Gaynor and his team look forward to implementing more feedback from students throughout the year and building on their success in making Redhawk Dining enjoyable for the students of Seattle U.