NOTHING FINER IN CAROLINA. The Rams Head Dining Hall in the University of North Carolina's new Ram's Head Center features five separate serving areas, each designed as a distinct "restaurant" with its own decor. The Carolina Diner, for example (top and middle), has a traditional "diner" theme while the Rolling Pin (bottom) coffee/pastry area is designed to mimic a European café.
MORE RAMS HEAD. UNC's Ram's Head complex includes a sports café, the End Zone, complete with plasma TVs and electronic games (bottom). Meanwhile, the Rams Head Market is a 6,500-sq.ft. grocery store complete with fresh produce, grind-your-own coffee, fresh bakery and natural foods sections, as well as a full Boar's Head meat/cheese station (top).
Opened at the end of spring break earlier-this year, the Rams Head Center is the newest complex on the Chapel Hill campus of the University of North Carolina. Designed as a way to link the school's North and South campuses, Rams Head features a recreation center with its own parking deck and landscaped terrace, as well as three foodservice outlets.
Rams Head Dining Hall, which replaced another, older board dining facility, is designed as a multi-restaurant complex through which students can graze in unlimited quantities for a single meal credit in any meal period. Each of the five eateries within the 30,000-sq.ft. space has its own décor, including distinct furniture, flooring and color scheme.
For instance, the Chop House has the wood trim and darker colors indicative of a traditional steakhouse and features grilled items ranging from burgers and chicken to smoked meat and a rotating menu of grilledto-order steaks, fish and jumbo chops.
The Carolina Diner has a "diner" theme complete with multi-colored checked tiling and even a classic juke box. It offers breakfast choices all day along with a variety of comfort food favorites like openface turkey sandwiches.
The Rolling Pin is a bakery coffeehouse with café tables and chairs and a bright, airy, muted color scheme while Baracca's Deli has an Italian restaurant feel and is anchored by huge brick ovens that produce made-toorder pizzas, calzones, and rolletos. The station also has a make-your-own pasta area and a full made-to-order deli.
Finally, Lean & Green offers a full salad/fruit bar, soups, ethnic options and made-to-order vegetarian and vegan selections.
In another part of the Rams Head complex is End Zone, a two-story sports café with jumbo plasma TVs, arcade games and a full menu with appetizers, soups, salads, burgers, grilled sandwiches and deli selections. It is open until 1 a.m. every night. Both the dining hall and End Zone were designed by the Ricca Newmark design and consulting firm and are operated by campus dining services provider Aramark Corp., which also runs the Rams Head Market, a 6,500-sq.ft. c-store that includes a Boar's Head Deli, Java City coffee and an abundance of natural foods, a meat/cheese area, a grind-your-own fresh coffee area and a fresh bake shop with selections produced by Rams Head's own bakery. Rams head Market is open until midnight during the week and is seeing close to 2,000 customers a day, says Food & Vending Services Director Ira Simon. He estimates the store will generate some $1.7 million in annual revenues.