University of Wisconsin-Madison - Gordon Dining and Event Center

Madison, Wisconsin


June 2012


Marketplace Center
Convenience Store
Coffee & Ice Cream Shop

Built in 1965, Gordon Commons was clearly past its prime. It has been completely replaced with the new highly stylized, on-trend Gordon Dining and Event Center designed to meet students increasingly sophisticated culinary tastes and convenience-driven lifestyles. The $34.1 million, 99,000-square-foot-project features ten diverse a la carte dining venues offering freshly made or finished-to-order specialties ranging from stone hearth oven pizzas to organic burgers to a broad array of international specialties. The back-of-the house is relatively small because everything has been brought out front and is prepared in front of the customers. The marketplace concepts include pizza, pasta, grill, deli, salad bar, comfort food, Mexican, International sauté, breakfast all day and a convenience store. Bulk and bottled beverages, snacks, cereal, desserts, and grab-and-go are also offered.

The new central production kitchen has cook-chill capability that means big changes to production processes. The new method allows food to be held for up to 30-days, providing greater menu diversity. Another new feature is a dedicated area for local produce receiving and processing, providing the ability to clean farm-to-table produce right off the dock. The kitchen also includes the receiving dock, storage, an ingredient assembly area, central bakery, central catering production areas, a food bank and distribution staging areas for room temperature and refrigerated items. Three separate dining areas provide seating for 600, plus upper level event space includes seating for 300. The upper level includes catering and summer conference support and dining areas. The total foodservice area is 67,000 SF, with 7,000 students on the a la carte meal program.