Eureka College Burgoo cafe gets face-lift, expanded menu

A ribbon-cutting ceremony at the renovated Burgoo cafe in the Cerf Center at Eureka College will be at 11 a.m. Aug. 29, and it is open to the public.

The ceremony will feature a drawing for prizes. There will be comments from Student Body President Max Hutchison of Robinson and Chief Financial Officer Marc Pasteris.

CORE Construction of Morton managed the $200,000 project, and Eureka College Director of the Physical Plant Rob McChesney supervised.

The Burgoo formerly had one counter where customers ordered food. The upgrade has created a convenience-store atmosphere with a grill for hot sandwiches; a bar for cold sandwiches and wraps; shelving for snacks, candy and fruits; dispensers for hot and cold beverages; and refrigerated cases for pre-made sandwiches, salads, beverages and ice cream.

The checkout area of the newly renovated Burgoo cafe

The décor includes new tables, booths and counter seating and historical black-and-white photographs of the campus.

The seating area of the newly renovated Burgoo cafe

Menu offerings have been expanded to include hot breakfast sandwiches, hot cereals, a daily soup, home-fried chips, fried pickles, fried cheese sticks, chicken sandwiches, made-to-order sub sandwiches, quesadillas, personal pizzas and burgers, including veggie burgers. A value meal includes a hot sandwich and chips for $2.50. The Burgoo will continue to offer its popular Starbucks Coffee products.

Students had input into the Burgoo design and fare, according to Student Body Vice President Lauren Schwanke of Eureka. They conducted surveys about what students wanted in the upgrade, and they had input into the décor, furniture and food selections, Schwanke said. “Students have said how sharp and updated the new Burgoo looks,” Schwanke said.  “From small improvements such as power outlets on the tables to more noticeable upgrades, including new furniture and extended food options, students across campus are buzzing about this fresh Burgoo, which has become a hot spot for evening cuisine.”

The Burgoo has expanded its hours to 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday. It does not have evening hours on Fridays, said Food Service Director Kathy Moore. It is open to the public. The college contracts with Sodexo for food services.

The Burgoo takes its name from a stew that early Eureka settlers cooked over open fires at community celebrations held in the area where the Cerf Center now stands.

The main dining area for the campus is Dickinson Commons on College Avenue. It underwent a $2.1 million renovation in 2008.