ZeBi brings new variety to campus

BY STEVEN VIERA ’16
Contributing Writer

Jazzman’s Café, the small café located underneath the College bookstore, has been replaced by ZeBi (Zest Bistro), a restaurant which features fresh and healthy food options. The change comes as a result of student desires for fresher food and a more varied menu.

“There was more demand for real, healthy, quality food,” said Barry L. Bosley, associate vice president of administration.

From Aug. 9 to Aug. 23 Jazzman’s was under renovation in order to make its transition into ZeBi. These changes included repainting and reorganizing the inside as well as the new features added to the menu.

“I’ll say it, the major difference between Jazzman’s and ZeBi is a an expanded menu,” said Kevin Dean, general manager of campus dining.

This new format features a breakfast menu that transitions to lunch at 11 a.m. The menu also includes five items that change weekly and the coffee and tea bar will be open all day.

“We kept everything people loved about Jazzman’s and added more,” Bosley said.

Instead of the microwavable grab-and-go food of Jazzman’s, ZeBi provides fresh sandwiches, salads, soups and specialty beverages such as fair-trade coffee. Students are able to customize their meals by selecting which toppings, sauces or dressings they would like. Most of the items available, such as the teas, sodas, and snacks, are organic.

“I want to say that their breakfast sandwiches and breakfast flatbreads are better than Subway’s,” said Jared Gorin ’13, president of Diplomatic Congress.

ZeBi will provide several DipDeals, which are meal combinations that can be purchased with a meal swipe instead of flex money or cash. The coffee and pastry DipDeal provided by Jazzman’s will remain an option in addition to a half-deli sandwich and soup, a half-deli sandwich and salad, or a salad-and-soup option.

According to Dean, ZeBi has adopted a number of new practices in order to improve efficiency in the restaurant. The express lane has been removed so both registers might be used for regular purchases, and the coffees, teas, and pastries have become self-serve in order to prevent crowding at the front of the line. In addition to the previous employees of Jazzman’s, new employees are being hired to help reduce wait times.

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ZeBi will also help out the local community by donating a percentage of its proceeds to the Water Street Rescue Mission via the charity Stop Hunger.

Jazzman’s provided coffee, pastries, sandwiches, and prepackaged salads to the campus for eight years. However, according to Gorin, students wanted a wider range of options to choose from as well as healthier choices.

In response to the complaints about Jazzman’s menu, Bosley began the process of replacing the coffeehouse with an eatery that would accommodate the student body’s desire for a variety of fresher, healthier foods. He was contacted by Sodexo, the company that manages all of the restaurants on campus, and learned there was a new café option available: Zest Bistro, or ZeBi.

Bosley was introduced to ZeBi when it was known as Zest, during the summer of 2011 when he was in the process of replacing Pandini’s in Steinman College Center. While he did not feel Zest would be suitable at that time, he decided the new and improved ZeBi would be worth a look while considering improvements to the College’s on-campus dining options.

Bosley, along with Gorin and Molly Thompson ’13, visited a functioning ZeBi at George Washington University. After inspecting the restaurant and sampling the food it had to offer, they decided ZeBi met all their criteria and would be a perfect replacement for Jazzman’s.

ZeBi held a small opening on the afternoon of Aug. 23. While he believes there are some students on campus who will miss Jazzman’s, Bosley is optimistic they will eventually embrace the new restaurant.

“The students perceive change differently and I think once they get here and experience it, they’ll be very happy with the change,” Bosley said.

Questions? Email Steven at sviera@fandm.edu.

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