Order Up! Drexel’s Academic Bistro Receives New Refresh

Academic Bistro.

The Academic Bistro’s food is still amazing, and you can still enjoy a three-course meal prepared and served by Drexel University students for an astounding $12 there. But there are other aspects of the Center for Food & Hospitality Management’s restaurant and bar now being presented with a new twist.

Over the summer, the dining room, bar area and private function room in the Academic Bistro received a new makeover that not only updated the space, but incorporated the Center’s relationships within the industry in Philadelphia. The space has been redecorated with new rugs, walls, art, tables, chairs and lighting.

The wall art? It’s all photographs shot by Jason Varney, BS photography ’01, a local food and lifestyle photographer and notable Drexel alumnus who recently exhibited a show at his alma mater.

The accent wall of wooden wine crates? That was built by Paul O’Neill, an assistant clinical professor of hospitality, who took apart wine boxes and nailed them together to resemble a previous installation that is currently on display at Osteria (a local Italian restaurant opened by noted restauranteur Marc Vetri ’90, who also has taught classes at the Center).

Then there’s also the new paintjob (the old salmon color is still visible through an accent wall, but a cool grey has been painted over the rest of the space). Books on wine and food as well as culinary cookbooks line the windowsills and decorate the room alongside antique cooking accessories and knickknacks.

O’Neill and Rich Pepino, executive chef of the Academic Bistro, went through and picked out all of the décor to remodel the new space.

The Academic Bistro functions as a restaurant and bar — both of which are regularly used by internal Drexel organizations and groups, and also by outside companies. Students in both the Department of Culinary Arts & Sciences and the Department of Hospitality Management also use the space to cook for, serve and host at these events and offerings, which is an extremely beneficial part of the experiential learning aspect of those programs.

Through volunteer positions (which are open to all Drexel students that are of age) for serving and bartending or through classes, many Drexel students work or study in the Academic Bistro. Courses like “Wine and Spirits,” “Fundamentals of Beer” and “Wine Chemistry” are taught in the bar, and hospitality and culinary students are required to work in the Academic Bistro as part of the “Food and Beverage Customer Service” course that O’Neill teaches when the Academic Bistro is offering regular food service. In the fall and winter terms, there will be three-course lunch meals available to all. In the spring term, dinner is available.

This term, the Academic Bistro officially opened on Oct. 11 to be used as a private event space. It will open for dining later in the term. Stay tuned to see what great food you can enjoy in the new space! Reservations can be made online.