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Café 8901 in Building 9 is currently undergoing a year-long renovation project to provide patrons a more pleasurable dining experience, and staff an improved working environment.

The retail serving area, dining room, kitchen and administrative spaces are being remodeled in three phases. The project will nearly double dining room seating capacity to accommodate more than 500 patrons, improve heating, ventilation and air conditioning, as well as better customer flow in the facility.

Renovation plans for Café 8901 also include construction of a performance station to spotlight the facility’s “Fit and Flavorful” entrees and salads, as well as installation of a rotisserie station, a brick pizza oven, and a state-of-the-art executive dining room. A new grab-and-go meal service operation, known as “8901 Express,” will also be introduced in Café 8901.

Phase one of the project began this month and entails behind-the-scenes food service operations, including renovation of the employee locker rooms, the call center that supports inpatient meals to include a hotel-style room service operation, and the department’s main supply areas.

Phase two of the project, expected to start in late winter and last through next summer, will have the greatest impact on Café 8901 customers. During this phase, Café 8901 will temporarily operate out of a fully-equipped modular kitchen and dining room with a seating capacity for 120 customers in the parking lot north of Building 1 (the Tower). The interim food service operation will have a full menu to support breakfast, lunch, dinner, and after-hour meal services. Nutrition Services Department (NSD) leadership is also planning to establish kiosk food stations in Building 9 and the America Building to supplement food service operations during phase two renovations of the dining facility.

Phase three of the project calls for the completion of the employee’s locker rooms, refrigerated storage areas, and the executive dining room, with completion of the renovated Café 8901 scheduled for the fall of 2013.

“We have worked intently, for the past two years, on the design and plans for this much-needed renovation, which is now coming to fruition,” said Col. Melanie Craig, director of NSD. “The renovation ultimately guts the entire food service operation, taking it down to the studs. It will really improve inpatient room service capabilities and allow us to offer a more sophisticated dining experience for the dining room customer.

“Despite the inconvenience that the phased renovation will cause, the entire nutrition services team is energized by the positive and enormous upgrades that the renovation brings,” Craig added.

For more information about the renovation project of Café 8901, contact NSD’s Chief of Food Operations, Maj. Ronna Trent, at 301-295-6568.