NEWPORT, R.I. - The Naval War College’s Hewitt Hall Café reopened after Convocation on August 16, following renovations that quite literally changed the look of the place from floor to ceiling.
“The goal was to create something that was warmer, more welcoming and was appealing to students,” said NWC’s Director of Business Operations Bob Sampson while standing in the café among a crowd of NWC students, faculty and staff. “We changed the concept.”
After closing its doors for about a month, the interior looks and feels more like a restaurant: the old tile floor was replaced by feaux wood and all the furniture is a mahogany color. The atmosphere of the café has also been enhanced. Diners can now sit at booths with pendant drop lights, watch a game on the flat-screen TV, and order food on a revised menu cooked in a kitchen now lead by a full-time chef.
The updated menu offers more healthy selections including salads, sandwiches and sandwich melts. After ordering food, diners may take a number and sit at a table and food can be brought to them, or selections may be ordered to go. The new menu offers breakfast sandwiches as well.
“It’s a destination now, something that students will remember,” Food Services Manager Sue Perry said.
Following Convocation, the café reopened with a ribbon-cutting ceremony with Sampson and President, Naval War College Rear Adm. Phil Wisecup, and students, staff and faculty were invited to attend.
“It’s incredible, it’s really transformed,” Associate Dean of Academic Affairs Tim Jackson said at the re-opening festivity. “The original idea was to provide a quick place to eat, the concept here is quite different.”
Sampson said the café is now a conducive atmosphere for students to socialize, and they can use the space to relax and discuss class materials and discuss research in an informal environment.
The café’s hours of operation are Monday through Thursday from 6:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., and on Friday from 6:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
By Tyler Will, Naval War College Public Affairs