Hodgdon Food-On-The-Run, commonly known as “Hodge,” will close for renovations after March 9, according to Patti Klos, director of dining and business services at Tufts. The popular dining location is set to be revitalized with a new layout designed to minimize overcrowding and streamline the grab-and-go system.
“Especially since we introduced mobile ordering during COVID, we find that the way we designed that space back in 2007 no longer really meets our need,” Klos said in an interview with the Daily.
While Hodge is closed, dining services will open a “mini” version of Food-On-The-Run in the lobby of Dewick-MacPhie dining hall, offering a selection of grab-and-go options as well as hot food beginning on March 27.
“We’ll have breakfast sandwiches and the bagel bar in the morning, [and] we’ll have a rotation of popular items at lunch and at dinner,” Klos said.
The pop-up version of Hodge and the Dewick dining hall will remain open until 10 p.m. on certain days, and according to Klos, “General Gao’s will be [available] more often.”
Klos said that construction on Hodge will take around 20 weeks and is expected to conclude before the start of the fall 2023 semester. The time needed for construction means there is no way to complete construction without working during the school year.
“We can’t get it done in the summer [alone], so there’s really two options: start in the spring, or be ready [by] October,” she said. “Our preference … would be to take [Hodge] offline at spring break or around spring break … and have it ready for when students return in the fall.”
Although Hodge’s physical footprint will not be expanded, the island in the center of the room will be removed and the space will be optimized to enable a better workflow for staff. While renovations are ongoing, all current Hodge employees will be offered their same schedules either at the Hodge pop-up in Dewick or at other dining locations on campus.
In addition to Hodge, Klos said Kindlevan Café will be renovated over the summer to better keep up with student demand.
“When Kindlevan opened, we were not accepting meal swipes at that time, and we’d serve maybe 300 people a day,” Klos said. “We take some meal swipes there now, but some days we [serve] 1000 people. … It can get very congested.”
Klos also revealed that funds have been allocated to renovate Dewick in the future. The goal of these renovations will be to optimize seating arrangements,manage lines and potentially add a wider variety of menu items.
“We’ve done an initial analysis and now, hopefully in the next year, we’ll begin to do a more detailed analysis [and] invite student input,” Klos said on the plans surrounding Dewick.
Klos said there are no plans to accept meal swipes at Commons while Hodge undergoes renovations.
“Commons is not built to be able to handle the volume that Pax [and] Hodgdon can handle,” she said.