Renovated dining room completed at Gracie’s



Gracie’s, the largest dining room at the Rochester Institute of Technology that has fed students for decades at Grace Watson Hall, reopened this month after a five-month renovation project in its seating area.

It was the second and final phase of renovation; the kitchen and service areas were renovated in 2019.

“The whole space looks brand new,” said Michael Dellafave, senior project manager with facilities management services at RIT. “The dining room has been completely emptied for a complete restoration, from ceiling to floor. We have new furniture, new lighting, new fixtures and even a fireplace.

The layout of the dining room is now multi-layered and can accommodate 515 people, more than the 475 people that the old layout accommodated.

“There are airport-style high counters and individual charging stations where students can plug in laptops with USB ports,” he said.

Table seats are also available, in different sizes, for groups of two to eight people.

“The old design was pretty outdated,” he said. “We wanted to refresh the space. So now there is more room for solo dinners, and also a new conference room with glass walls.

The conference room can be booked for meetings and can accommodate up to 10 people.

Gracie’s format has also changed. It no longer offers an all-you-can-eat option for students, but rather a retail operation, with ready meals, made-to-order meals at each station, sandwiches, salads, Mongolian grill, pizza in the oven in brick and sushi. .

There are daily vegetarian and gluten-free options, a breakfast bar, and even a sundae bar.

“We have improved the customer experience,” said Denishea Ortiz, executive director of strategic marketing. “Before the renovation, you had to pay to enter the space. Now our customers step into a comfortable, well-lit environment with the option to purchase meals or take out items. Guests can organize meetings, study groups, or hang out. The team carefully selected the seating options and the structure of the seating area. We hope the customer experience improves dramatically, not only with the renovation, but also with the new format and new food offerings. “

Gracie’s is cashless and orders can be placed online.


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