The fine arts residence hall, lovingly known as “Hash,” deserved something special when it came time to renovate its retail foodservice location, says Mark Maranell, general manager of the Ekdahl Dining Commons at the 30,000-student University of Kansas. The answer came as a concept called The Studio.
The entrance to The Studio, which is located at KU's fine arts-focused residence hall Hashinger, known as "Hash."
Maranell says The Studio has an industrial/artsy feel complete with art displayed on the walls. Maranell says the department decided to move to a cook-to-order Euro grill-style concept. The location also offers some grab and go, as well as some c-store items, but the majority of customers go for the made-to-order items.
A location of KU's coffee concept, Pulse, is located adjacent to The Studio. It features coffee, espresso-based drinks, baked goods and other coffee-shop fare.
Pulse also offers sweet treats like cheesecake, brownies and fruit.
One change that has made The Studio a destination on campus was the introduction of the department's own pizza concept, called 'za, to The Studio. "I think bringing in our own pizza concept really helped," Maranell says. "It’s a higher quality product than what we had previously and we are able to produce and sell it at a lower cost. "
'za personal size pizzas are also available as grab-and-go items.
The Studio's menu focuses on pub-type fare including made-to-order sandwiches and wraps, Tex Mex items like burritos and quesadillas, chili cheese fries and chicken strips.
The menu also offers a variety of salads including a crispy chicken salad and a chef's salad.
Specialty burgers are also a big draw. Maranell says The Studio serves what he would call the best burger on campus.
The Studio also serves an assortment of breakfast items such as cinnamon French toast and breakfast burritos.
Maranell says the location does a decent amount of grab-and-go, along with selling a variety of c-store items.
“There is one wall painted in bright blue, one of our school colors, and lots of seating options,” Maranell says. “There are two bars with high counter seating as well as booths and café tables. We have LCD TVs. The location has a deck on the east side and a nice patio on the west side of the building. The place just has a great feel to it. It’s so much better than the little hole in the wall it was years ago.”
The seating area for Pulse.
Pulse also offers a stage for student performances.