Student-led restaurant at UNT opens Sept. 28 for a limited time during fall dining season

Monday, September 28, 2015 - 20:00

What: The University of North Texas' Club at Gateway Center opens for the 2015 fall season. The restaurant offers three-course lunches to the public and UNT community and is run by students in the UNT College of Merchandising, Hospitality and Tourism.

When: Monday – Friday, Sept. 28 to Nov. 25, with seating from 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.

Where: The Club at Gateway, located in the UNT Gateway Center, 801 North Texas Blvd. in Denton.

Cost: $7.70, except for lunch on Nov. 3, which will be prepared by guest chef Morris Salerno and cost $9.70. Season ticket holders receive a 10% discount and receive nine meal tickets which they may use throughout the fall semester. Season tickets can be purchased for $62.37.

Reservations: Call 940-565-4144, or make a reservation online. Not required, but highly encouraged.

DENTON (UNT), Texas — The grill is sizzling again as the University of North Texas Club at Gateway Center, a student-run restaurant, opens to the public.

The dining facility teeming with college-age students serves gourmet, three-course dining meals, while also heating up students' skills in the high-end restaurant industry. Open weekdays from Sept. 28 to Nov. 25, Club at Gateway Center is a literal learning lab for students.

The Club at Gateway Center provides students enrolled in the UNT Hospitality Management program with real-world, hands-on experience in running a successful restaurant. Students oversee the entire dining experience, including meal preparation, marketing, budgeting, menu planning and staff management.

Caitlin Penn, a senior in the College of Merchandising, Hospitality and Tourism, originally dreamed of educating young minds. Then she realized her passion for event management and making people's dreams come true through hospitality.

Penn said most people think anyone with cooking experience can operate a restaurant. But through her experiences in the classroom, she's learned it's not easy. The college's courses educated her on all administrative aspects of a hospitality business: accounting, stock investments and employee management in the front and back of the restaurant. The college the program also educates students on management styles of country clubs, corporate event management and hotels.

"You're really learning the whole business," said Penn, who hopes to one day lead a major casino's event planning division as its vice president. "You are not just stuck in one department. You learn how each station is set. You become familiar with how to learn your job to the best of your abilities."

For a limited amount of time each semester, the Club at Gateway Center opens to the public for weekday lunch, with seating from 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.  Reservations are recommended for parties with eight guests or more.

UNT News Service
(940) 565-2108