As Ohio University students rushed out of their classrooms Tuesday to the dining halls for dinner, Shively Court, located at the bottom of Morton Hill, drew a crowd bigger than Alden Library would have on finals week.
"My friends and I waited 27 minutes outside in the cold," said Rachael Gargano, a sophomore living in Scott Quad. "It was definitely worth it."
On Monday and Tuesday the lines to get in for lunch were crawling up Morton Hill. Around 5 p.m., Tuesday, the line of students went from the main door of Shively Court to the entrance of Tiffin Hall. Students from all parts of campus didn't mind the wait to see what all the hype was about on East Green.
"I was sick of all those other places," said Chris Hughes, a sophomore. "I was just going with the flow to see if this could be the new hotspot, and it is living up to the hype."
Shively Court, also known as Shively dining hall by students, looks to be the place to eat on OU's campus, at least for now.
"You can always get the same food," said Molli Stitzel, a resident of O'Bleness on South Green. "Shively is the new hot spot for all OU students."
Shively is also a dorm for sophomores and upperclassmen. In October 2008, OU started renovating all of Shively. In August the dorm reopened for students to live in, and Shively Court was finished in October 2009, according to university spokesperson Katie Quaranta.
It wasn't open to students until this past Monday. Quaranta said the project cost OU $10.4 million.
Most of the students interviewed Tuesday said the investment was well worth it.
"I am completely satisfied with Shively," said Melanie Turner, a freshman from Jefferson Hall. "It was definitely worth the $10.4 million."
Rob Stevenson, a freshman from East Green, said he loved "The Brick Hill Grille," but thought that money could have been spent on other university projects.
"I love how open it is and the way the skylight is set," said Stevenson, "but that 10.4 million could have gone to ROTC or something that needed it."
Quaranta stated that the funds for the project also went to create a "Grab n' Go" outlet for Shively. It offers students the chance to get their food on the go. Many students on East Green said they're glad they don't have to walk to Nelson Dining Hall or Boyd to get their Grab n' Go.
"I love the subs they offer," said Turner. "You can't get that kind of healthy food at Nelson Grab n' Go."
According to Dining Services, Shively Court offers many different food options, including "The Touch of Home," which is home-style cooking, and "Fuego," a burrito and taco bar. At the "Brick Hill Grille," the cooks grill the burgers right in front of the students so they can see what they are eating.
Students also said they noticed how different Shively Court looks compared to other dining halls.
"It offers a different kind of architecture," said freshman Nick Rose-Stamey. "It's colorful and offers a diversity of food."
Upperclassmen have seen the before and after of Shively, and one OU senior expressed amazement.
"I can't believe what they did to Shively," said Devon Brandenstein, a senior physical education major. "The old Shively smelled so bad that my roommate had her own clothes to go eat there. This new one is a million times better."
Ryan Lewis, a freshman in Bush Hall, said he wasn't impressed by the hype, and that it wasn't worth it to stand in line in the cold for 30 minutes. He said he's satisfied eating at Jefferson Dining Hall, which is right across from his dorm.
Tim Hixon, a student manager at Jefferson Dining Hall, has noticed a difference since Shively's going on-line.
"There are definitely less people at Jeff Dining Hall," said Hixon. "We get occasional rushes after people realize that Shively's line is too long, but we haven't been packed as much as last quarter yet."
Shively Court is generating a lot of buzz around campus and most students appear to love the food and atmosphere. According to the OU Shively Court menu, other dining halls should be busy on the weekends because Shively Court is only open Monday through Friday.
"This is how a dining hall should be," said sophomore Kaitlin Striker.