ARC’s Oak Café opens for spring 2016


Students line up for the opening of the Oak Cafe Bakery. The cafe is open Wednesday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. (Photo by Timothy Lipuma)

Timothy Lipuma

Students looking for more variety in their campus meals can now look to the Oak Café, located between the theater and arts/science buildings. It opened this Wednesday.

David Williams, an engineering major, was looking forward to the Oak Café opening day.

“I’ve been coming here for about a year and a half,” Williams said. “I always look forward to the espresso brownies.”

Kristen Rankin, a second semester student in the culinary program, spoke highly of the  Oak Café.

“You’re happy to work there, because everything is homemade,” Rankin said. “It’s a great place to learn, because even if you make a mistake, you’re at school–so they don’t fire you!”

When asked why those unfamiliar with the Oak Café should try the food they offer, Rankin said “the prices are reasonable, the food is fresh, and everything is made by the students. If you come and look at the food, it’s beautiful, and there is a lot of variety.”

Sandwiches are made fresh daily, and the breads are baked from scratch; the sausages used in their “pigs in a blanket” are cased in house.

They also serve soup on colder days, and for those with a sweet-tooth, there are a variety of brownies, cookies, cakes, and other desserts to choose from.

The food is available on a first come first serve basis.

For those looking for a dine in experience, The Oak Café Restaurant serves a three course meal for $17, giving customers a chance to try foods of all different cultures and culinary techniques.

The lunch provides a first course, main entree, and a dessert, with each course having multiple options.

The restaurant posts its monthly menu online, showcasing the different cuisines offered for the week.

One entree for this week’s Cuban inspired menu is pollo agridulce–quick fried chicken thighs flavored with mango, ginger, cumin, chili, and cilantro.

Dr. Brian Knirk has been the department chair of the culinary arts and hospitality management since 1999. He shared where former Oak Café students are working currently.

“Some of our graduates include the pastry chef at Ella, the pastry chef at Waterboy, Sous Chef at Ella,  and the owner of Bacon and Butter,” Knirk said. “We also have graduates working at Restaurant Gary Danko in San Francisco, Boulevard restaurant in San Francisco, and Bouchon in Napa, among others.” 

When asked about what students enjoy the most about the program, Knirk replied, “I would hope the comradery amongst themselves and the enthusiasm they see from the faculty.”

The Oak Café Bakery is open Wednesday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

The Oak Café Restaurant is also open Wednesday through Friday, but serves lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.