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Retail Dining Vision

2019 Plans | 2020 Plans | 2022 Plans 

The following recommendations focus on retail dining, improving the guest experience and addressing long-term needs from location, cuisine offerings, trends and access to food on campus. 

The images and concepts used in the following vision plan attempt to visualize the intended mood and conceptualize design direction. These images do not represent actual concept renderings for proposed spaces.

2019 Plans

2019 – Cougar Woods Market

Spring 2019

Convert to cashier-less

To maintain the availability of convenience items to the residential population while maximizing personnel resources, the Cougar Woods Market will converted to a cashier-less c-store model like the Law Center Market and ERP’s Avenue C. 

Guests will be able to access the Cougar Woods Market 24/7. Product will be kept stocked and to the flexibility of 24/7 access without the need for a dedicated attendant.

2019 - Student Center South

Spring 2019

Mondo Subs

Mondo Subs is a retail brand with an original personality, offering high quality unique gourmet sub sandwiches, flatbreads, signature sides and distinctive, warm homemade spiced chips.

Create Salad Bar

Create is proposed to replace Freshii in Student Center South. Create is an exhibition-style culinary experience. Guests can customize their by-the-ounce salads and personal wraps while the food is created right in front of their eyes, adding to overall customer satisfaction and creating a personal experience.

Top Takeaway: Variety & Healthy Food – Increase healthy brands on campus with customizable meals. (Focus Groups, February 2018) 

2019 – Student Center Satellite

Spring 2019 

Food Court Re-Opens

A visual food court refresh began Summer 2018 and will bring an improved look and guest experience to Satellite dining operations. Tandoori Nite will be relocated to the current Kim Son location and will feature action cooking. Kim Son will take Tandoori Nite's current footprint. Sushic will now feature counter service. Drexler's will undergo a refresh as well, and new tile work will be installed throughout. 

UH Dining believes Satellite has the right brand mix for today's audience. This refresh will focus on updating the look and feel and overall experience for guests in those brands.

Food court refresh funded through Federal disaster relief funds due to Hurricane Harvey.

Brand Refreshes

Starbucks and Smoothie King will undergo refreshes and repairs due to Harvey-related damages in Fall 2018. The brands will have newer brand visual components. In the food court, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell will also receive a visual refresh. Starbucks and Smoothie King will re-open in Spring 2019 with a modern design. 

2019 – Lot21A

Fall 2019 

Food Truck Park

A food truck park is recommended to be constructed in Lot 21A, providing an outdoor space with picnic tables for group seating. Popular food truck parks like Midway Park in Austin bring crowds centered around food and socialization. 

Student feedback indicated the variety provided by the food truck program offers is of great value and convenience to them. The food truck program offers frequent changes in vendors and daily schedules. 

Supporting Diverse Foods & Entrepreneurship

UH Dining will make every effort to add halal and kosher food trucks. Increasing the number of food truck locations creates a new platform for Houston’s food entrepreneurs. 

Programming and Catering Opportunities

The inclusion of a performance stage creates an additional venue for evening and weekend programming, including entertainment, music, and other performances. Groups can reserve this space for outdoor events with catering services provided exclusively by The Fresh Fork. 

Variety: Food Trucks, Food trucks offer the most variety because they change daily and offer ethnic and fusion foods.(Focus Groups, February 2018) 

2020 Plans

2020 – M.D. Anderson Library

Fall 2020


M.D. Anderson Library will feature a fully licensed Starbucks operating 24/7 during the Fall and Spring semesters, featuring the full line of espresso beverages, pastries and hot foods. 

2020 – Garage 5

Fall 2020 

Multi-Cuisine Concept

Breakfast, Pizza + Bar Concept with seating 

UH Dining proposes a popular American food brand with a strong breakfast program for Garage 5. Guests will also have dedicated seating space to make this concept a convenient destination in the Arts District. 

Brands such as Dunkin Donuts provide breakfast and lunch options, while guests can also enjoy made-to-order pizzas baked in a brick oven, paired with salads. The afternoon menu will feature an assortment beer and wine. This location will also be included in the Boost mobile ordering app.

UH Dining will explore also partnering with Einstein Bros. Bagels, Chick-fil-A or similar brands to serve the Arts District and north campus community. Alternate brands include Le Givral (local), Katz Deli (local), Corner Bakery Café. 

Sit Down Restaurant Preferences American Students have a preference for national chain American fare outlets with expansive menus. (Nielsen Data, 2018)

2020 – College of Medicine 


The new College of Medicine will include a fully licensed Starbucks coffee shop with the full line of blended and espresso beverages, snacks and food options. If possible, line-busting will be added through the Boost mobile ordering app. 

2022 Plans 

2022 – Stadium Parking Garage

Fall 2022

Market at Stadium Garage

UH Dining will potentially offer the space for Stadium Garage Market for other campus or student service purpose. 

Fall 2022

Chick-fil-A to replace Taco Cabana

Dining Services will continue to operate Taco Cabana through Spring 2021 and proposes Chick-fil-A to replace Taco Cabana in Fall 2022. A popular brand like Chick-fil-A create excitement and drive additional traffic to this location. 

Convenience: Barrier to Access Districts Study and Charrette indicated vehicle traffic on Cullen Dr poses a physical barrier to Satellite. (Charrette, April 2018) 

2022 – New Retail Center Concept 

Food Hall replaces Satellite Dining

The Food Hall is a special experience as it puts cooks back in the stations, eliminates machine made food and pulls together all the elements of locality, socialization, technology and worldly culinary experiences that are so important to Gen Z. Offering an open floor plan where freshly prepared food is made directly in front of guests, food halls provide action seating and an authentic experience. Post-industrial interiors and local food concepts provide authenticity and the environment this generation seeks out. 

The popularity of foods halls in Houston and the State of Texas has created excitement and opportunity in the food industry. The first food hall opened its doors in 2007 and experts see this new type of food venue rapidly expanding over the next several years. The City of Houston itself has two major food halls opening within the next 24 months. 

The UH Food Hall will build on this trend to bring a unique retail environment to campus, featuring modern architectural designs and engaging environmental features both inside and out. 

Cuisine Variety

Incorporating a diverse set of food concepts is essential to the success of the food hall. UH Dining will introduce international cuisine through internal and local brands. Strong national brands will serve as anchor brands to drive the success of the venue. 

As an alternate concept, opportunity exists to add a made-to-order pasta station under Chartwells' 2.Mato brand. 

Community Tables

Large tables that allow students to connect with their peers in large groups and maximize both the look and feel of the seating area. 

Scenic Views

Located in near the Arts District, the Food Hall will have outdoor patio seating that will offer students the most scenic views of the UH campus. Guests can enjoy the vibrant outdoor space while gathering around a meal. 

Action Seats

Seating areas built around the cooking that offer a view of the action and enhanced transparency allowing students to view how their meal is prepared. 


Sustainability is far more than a color (green), it’s about people, the choices they make and how our efforts condition student behavior. The Food Hall will be a hub of sustainability efforts that will be visible and one of the primary storylines of the new space.

Purchasing decisions, building materials and packaging selections all have a sustainability cause and effect. The story behind all these decisions must be front and center. At the Food Hall, this story will be told in a very public way; from signage, dashboards and markers within the physical space to posts, blogs and pics on social media. 

Retirement of SC Satellite Dining

To support the success and drive excitement and new experience the UH Food Hall will bring to campus, Student Center Satellite operations will be retired upon completion of the new retail center.

Learn more about the proposed concepts for the food hall. (link to separate page)