Rams Head Center Earns National Recognition as Best New Facility

UNC’s Rams Head Center has been selected for one of Food Management magazine’s Best Concept Awards for 2006.

The winners are featured in the cover story in the magazine’s March issue. They also will be highlighted at the 2006 Food Management Ideas Conference in mid-May in Chicago, preceding the National Restaurant Show.

The Rams Head Center was one of three winners in the category of “best new facility,” along with a cafe at Prudential Financial in Newark, N.J., and a dining room at the University of California at Davis.

The nearly $80 million structure, which opened in spring 2005 and was featured in the May/June 2005 issue of the Carolina Alumni Review, features a 700-space garage with a grassy plaza for a roof. The plaza features wide, brick-lined walkways. On one side of the plaza is a dining hall and a sports cafe called the End Zone. On the other side of the plaza is a two-story recreation center. On one corner of the ground floor of the garage is a grocery store: the Market Express.

The development of the dining hall and grocery store stems from a master plan for food service developed in the mid-1990s, said Mike Freeman, director of auxiliary services.

The master plan for food service called for improving food quality and selection.

The design of the Rams Head dining facility responds to that charge by offering five separate serving areas, each designed as a distinct restaurant with its own decor as well as cuisine, Freeman said.

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