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Best Renovation: Yale University

Best Renovation: Yale University

RELATED:     •    2012 Best Concept Award Winners     •    Best of Show: Stanford University     •    Best Convenience Retailing Concepts: New Haven Public Schools     •    Best Special Event: Ohio State University Medical Center     •    Best Wellness Initiative: Hallmark Cards, Inc.     •    Best Station Concept: Restaurant Associates     •    Best Management Company Concepts: Sodexo     •    Best Menu: UCLA

The Kline Biology Tower, the tallest university building on the Yale campus, for many years included a cafeteria on its top floor that served students and staff in the building. However, age, menu limitations and access difficulties continually chipped away at participation until financial pressures forced its closure in 2009.

A lobby cart temporarily filled the need for foodservice in the building until Yale Dining Services hit on a solution: trade the penthouse real estate for a space on the ground floor occupied by a large classroom that was easily accessible and had full-length glass on three sides with a great view of a nearby park.

The renovated classroom-turned-café opened last August with three integrated platforms: coffee/bakery, hot/cold entrée sandwich/soup bar and deconstructed salad concept.

KBT’s signature feature is a sophisticated international coffee menu/program complete with sophisticated equipment for small batch roasting and hand-crafted single-cup extraction. The menu has a blend of some of the world’s finest coffees.

The new KBT is an appealing food/socialization destination supporting multi-disciplinary interaction while the intra-institutional transaction that allowed Yale Dining to take over classroom space in a premier academic institution illustrates the strong ties and organizational trust the department enjoys at the university.


Yale Dining
Rafi Taherian
Executive director
Tom Tucker
Director of retail development & operations
Lauren Peerless
Manager, KBT Cafe
Daniel Flynn
Manager of Planned Projects
Jo Cohen
Project Manager, Yale Facilities
Standard Builders (construction)
LDL Studio, Providence R.I. (architecture/design)
Epicure Digital (digital menuing design)

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