Rider unveils two premier dining spots following extensive renovations

Cranberry's and the Pub have been completely transformed
Lauren Minore

After a summer of renovations, two of Rider's central dining locations, Cranberry’s and the Pub, reopened this fall.

Renovations to the 10,600-square-foot space have completely transformed the dining spots, providing the campus community with new premier options for eating and socializing, as well as new signature food items, such as Bronc Brew, a branded lager brewed by River Horse Brewing Company. In total, the renovations cost nearly $5 million, funded entirely by Gourmet Dining, the University's food service and dining partner. 

“We are excited about the upgrades and are very pleased with our partners from Gourmet Dining,” says Mike Reca, vice president for facilities and university operations. “We want to thank them for their investment in the University and look forward to a long and beneficial relationship for our campus community.”

Cranberry's was expanded and redesigned with an open-concept, circular layout, featuring six food stations. Sushi, pizza, tacos, sandwiches, salads, grain bowls and more are featured on the everyday menu. Students, faculty and staff can order via kiosks or place mobile orders through GrubHub and pick up their orders in secured food lockers.

A pergola with an acrylic roof is being added to the patio outside Cranberry's as well. It will feature increased seating and string lights similar to the patio that was added to Sweigart Hall.

"We have heard such great things from students and faculty about the patio at Sweigart that we wanted to have another space for the campus community to gather," says Reca.

The Pub was transformed into a sports bar featuring rows of TVs broadcasting sports, news and entertainment, and a gastropub-style menu. Diners will see little homages to Rider with menu items such as the Broncosaurus Burger — a burger with brisket, pork roll and egg.

Glass dividers separate Cranberry's from the Pub, but they can open like garage doors to allow free flow between the rooms.

Xiomara Quinones, a senior dance performance major and bartender at the Pub, says students can expect a more interactive and social environment from the added features in the Pub.

“If you want to go out to eat with friends or go watch your favorite show or game on TV, it’s all right there on campus," she says. "The food looked amazing at the opening and there were already twice the amount of people there than usual."

There are also several new varieties of drinks are available for Broncs over 21 years of age to enjoy. “We have more offerings in terms of wine and beer,” Reca says. “The Pub provides an opportunity for students to hang out on campus and if they're of age to have a drink and watch a game. It's also a nice spot for when parents and alumni come to campus for a visit."

Additionally, the new faculty and staff dining room is set to open on Oct. 7. The room has also received renovations, converting the space into a lounge that will feature a daily rotating menu in addition to a standard menu of soup, salad and dessert. When it's not in use between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. every day, the space will double as a meeting room. "It’s going to be an opportunity for people to book that space and have catered events,” Reca says.

Renovations to Cranberry's and the Pub are the latest in campus-wide series of renovations. Other recent projects include renovations to the Bart Luedeke CenterSweigart Hall, the Science and Technology Center, and the Wright and Ridge residence halls.