University of Michigan students, staff, faculty and community members will have the opportunity to try several new retail and restaurant outlets as well as welcome back some favorites when the newly renovated Michigan Union reopens in January.
Six food partners and five service partners have signed agreements to operate in the Union.
Food partners joining the Michigan Union include: Panera Bread, Taco Bell, Sweetwaters Coffee & Tea, MI Burger, Mama DeLuca’s and Blue Market. Panda Express and Subway will return as well.
Retail partners include Barnes & Noble, the U-M Credit Union, the U-M Tech Shop (formerly Computer Showcase), PNC ATM, and the Michigan Union Ticket Office.
MI Burger, Panda Express, Subway, Mama Deluca’s, Blue Market, Barnes & Noble, UMCU, the Tech Shop, PNC and MUTO will be on the ground floor. Panera Bread will replace Au Bon Pain on the first floor and Sweetwater’s will be in the first-floor courtyard.
The $85.2 million renovation to the Michigan Union began in April 2018. From the beginning of the process, students were instrumental in decision making. That student-centered focus continued with the retail and food partner selection.
“Working with U-M Procurement Services, we made a very broad request for proposals, including both local and national brands, so that we could consider a variety of cuisines, dietary advantages and price points,” said Amy White, director of the Michigan Union.
“Our final choices offer Union guests a mix of options that meet everyday needs with exciting selections that will make them want to return regularly. Students had significant involvement in the selection process and provided invaluable insight into student needs, concerns and preferences.”
Timothy Williams, a member of the Michigan Union Board of Representatives and one of the students who served on the food review committee, said sustainability was important for students.
“Through serving on the committee we were able to make sustainability a key part of the RFP (request for proposals) process, asking vendors about current sustainability practices and future endeavors,” he said, adding that pricing was a primary concern as well.
“(We) wanted the Union to be intentional in its messaging about who is represented at the university. … It was very important that there would be affordable options for food in the Union as the Union is one of the first places most students visit.”
All of the food partners will accept Blue Bucks and Dining Dollars — the campus currency, which can be added to student and staff Mcards.
Sweetwaters Coffee & Tea — Premium teas and specialty seasonal drinks, as well as light fare items such as yogurt, quiches, sandwiches and baked goods.
Panera Bread — Baked goods as well as soups and sandwiches, with simple ingredients. Other popular items include mac and cheese, salads and desserts.
Taco Bell — Mexican-inspired food that includes vegetarian, vegan and healthy options.
Mama DeLuca’s and Subway — Subway offers sandwiches, salads and wraps. Mama DeLuca’s — a part of Subway — features made-to-order pizza and pasta, boneless chicken wings and breadsticks.
Panda Express —Asian-inspired creations such as zesty orange-flavored chicken, beef with broccoli, and kung pao chicken.
MI Burger — Sustainable, locally sourced burgers, fries and shakes, as well as Halal options, plant-based beef alternative and blended burger of beef and mushrooms.
Blue Market — Fresh fruit, savory snacks, sandwiches, beverages and convenience items. Blue Market will offer late night hours.
U-M Credit Union — A newly renovated Michigan Union branch as well as the UMCU Financial Wellness Center.
Barnes & Noble — While students will continue to order course materials through their online bookstore, the remodeled Barnes & Noble has created a dedicated area for picking up and returning course materials. The store will continue to carry academic supplies, graduation regalia and materials, class rings and spirit wear.
The Tech Shop — Formerly known as Computer Showcase, The Tech Shop provides sales, service and support of personal technology to U-M students, faculty and staff at two on-campus locations.
PNC ATM — PNC is affiliated with the Mcard, the university’s ID card program for students, staff and faculty. Users can attach their account and use the Mcard as a debit card at the Michigan Union ATM.
Michigan Union Ticket Office — The Michigan Union Ticket Office facilitates the ticketing and sales of performance arts throughout Ann Arbor and the surrounding areas, providing both event ticketing support and ticket sales.
Editor’s note: This story has been from its original version to include the addition of Taco Bell as a food vendor.