New 'R and D Pub' Opens Its Doors in Stata Center
By Jeffrey Chang
The new “R and D Pub” opened this Tuesday on the fourth and fifth floors of the Ray and Maria Stata Center.
With three places to eat or socialize, Stata has become a new center for activity on campus. The first floor cafe in particular has seen strong demand.
R and D is open from 4:00 pm 10:00 pm on weekdays, and is available to members of the MIT community and their guests over 21. In addition to alcohol, it offers light food including fruit and cheese. Director of Campus Dining Richard D. Berlin said plans are underway to expand the food menu.
Dining facilities used heavily
The faculty dining lounge, located on the fourth floor near the newly opened pub, provides food from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm. Its dining hall contains about 110 seats and one hundred or more people pass through it each day, Berlin said.
On the first floor is the Forbes Family Cafe, which is open to the entire MIT community. There is also a Starbucks cafe area nearby, which is open from 7:30 am until 10:00 pm,
Berlin said that both the Starbucks and the dining hall have seen strong business, with the Starbucks as popular as the Bosworth’s coffee shop in Lobby 7.
Viji Draviam, a Postdoctoral Associate in the Department of Biology, said that the area can become crowded, but she said she has not seen it filled to capacity.
“I don’t see a lot of opportunities to add seating” if the dining hall area becomes overcrowded, Berlin said. “Overall, it’s pretty good.” If needed, more tables could possibly be added outside of the dining hall, he said.
“We expected a lot of people to spread out onto the Student Street or outside,” Berlin said. Student Street is the main corridor running through Stata with benches and tables along the walls.
“The plan was that people would learn to make the most” of what was in the Stata Center, Berlin said. “If people explored a little bit, they’d find that there are seats available.”
EC dinners move to Stata
The first East Campus weekly all-you-can-eat dinner of the year was held on Tuesday in the Forbes Family Cafe, instead of Pritchett Grill, where it has taken place in previous years. General Manager of Community Dining Services Stephen Porter suggested the new location to the housemasters last year.
“I felt it was a very enticing atmosphere... it’s a far better facility,” said Porter. People seemed to be pleased, Porter said, and the rest of the EC dinners will be held in the Stata center as well.
Housemaster and Senior Lecturer Julian K. Wheatley said the $6.50 dinner, which included turkey with trimmings and vegetarian lasagna, was well-prepared by the chef. The new dining hall is a “nice setting,” said Wheatley, “but some of the furniture is a little strange.”