New options in food court to offer worldly flare

UPDATED 4/9/07 — After 12 years of providing sandwiches and hot meals to university students and faculty, both Leo’s Deli and World’s Fare are scheduled to close at the end of the semester.

With the removal of these two staples from the Hurricane Food Court, students will see different food options this coming fall semester.

“Based on feedback, we’ve decided to replace these two concepts with more international fare,” said Mel Tenen, assistant vice president of auxiliary services. “[The] campus is very diverse and international and we want our food service to match this.”

World’s Fare will be replaced with Mango Cafe, which will feature a variety of Latin and Caribbean themed entries, side dishes and desserts, such as vaca frita, black beans and rice, and flan. Hot and cold dishes will be featured on a daily basis. There will also be a rotating cycle of varied fish, beef, chicken and pork dishes.

Hours for Mango Cafe will be expanded as well, possibly to 6 or 7 p.m.

Nikos Cafe, which will offer Mediterranean-style entrees and be open until a similar hour, will replace Leo’s Deli. Menu items are planned to include Greek salads as well as pita and Panini sandwiches.

“We went off into a lot of local restaurants to get ideas for these new concepts,” said Celand Rapport, the resident district manager of Chartwells at UM. “We’re excited to meet up with the expectations of the university’s ever changing community.”

Many students were surprised to hear of the sudden changes taking place at the food court, however.

“I’m hurt that Leo’s Deli will be closing. I eat there everyday,” Bela Alvarez, a junior, said. “But I am willing to try out the new places.”

Sheeraz Baig, a sophomore, was also startled by the closing of the two eateries.

“I am really shocked that they would close them. I really liked the food from both places and the food is much healthier than either Wendy’s or Salsaritas,” he said. “The people who work there are nice too. And I know they’re popular because there are always long lines there.”

Despite the surprise, most students seem pleased with the changes in the food court.

“I love the new food options! I think it’s great that we will be having more variety,” said sophomore Christie Zavaleta, who is especially looking forward to Nikos.

Both Nikos and Mango Cafe are scheduled to open in August.

Natalie Riera may be contacted at

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The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly on Thursdays during the regular academic year.