A new bistro at PSU successfully blends a brand name with a unique campus concept into a sophisticated eatery.
There isn't a steam table or a Sicilian crust in sight. The new Blue Chip Bistro at Penn State University boasts a cafè and coffee bar located in Penn State's new Business Building. It's the first major food service establishment on campus that is located in an academic building.
Marking Sbarro's first departure from its established brand, the Bistro welcomes guests with a deli case stocked with European-style sandwiches and panini's, gourmet personal-size pizza on display next to a chopped salad station. The coffee bar features a variety of coffees and teas while maple paneling and stained glass accent the space.
The menu is the work of Bistro manager, Lisa Palermo.
"I wanted to create and atmosphere of freshness with a menu that changes with the seasons," Palermo explains. "We are using produce when at its peak for flavor, fresh herbs and more exotic ingredients in imaginative ways."
The upscale, sophisticated eatery is exactly what David Gingher, assistant director of Penn State Food Service, had in mind when he approached Sbarro.
The key to the project's success, according to Gingher is the "very unique relationship between the University and Sbarro. There has to be a lot of trust involved because this is their brand, their name."