Ayers Kitchen, UCO’s Newest Dining Hall

“There is a lot more food options here than in Buddy’s, my only complaint would be the small plates,” Evan Bostic said.

Ayers Kitchen, a new dining facility has opened its doors to the University of Central Oklahoma campus on January 10, 2020,  Friday before classes began.

Interior Of The Kitchen

Out with the old,  in with the new. Buddy’s Cafeteria is no more, after several names changes and decades of being in the same spot. Buddy’s Cafeteria has now closed it’s doors and made way for a new dining facility on UCO’s campus. Ayers kitchen is the newest place for students, family, and guests to eat at. The new dining hall is located directly behind Buddy’s on Ayers Street and is located inside the newly built Bausher Place.

“I was really amazed when I came in, the space is so much bigger, nicer, and better than Buddy’s, ” said junior Evan Bostic, after touring the new facility.

Walking into the kitchen, which can seat up to 500 people, students will see bright colors and large typography driven graphics, differing vastly from the design of Buddy’s Kitchen. Caroline Vaught, Chartwells Marketing Manager said that the design is meant to create a fun and energetic space for students.

“The messaging such as, “Pull up a chair. Take a taste. Life is delicious.” and, “Connect, Eat, Repeat.” is intended to remind people to slow down in today’s fast-paced environment.”

Vaught said that she wants students to feel relaxed while eating at the new dining facility. She said that she wants students to feel welcomed the second they walk through the door.

“We hope that they leave feeling nourished with good food, ready to tackle whatever lies ahead of them!” Vaught also said.


The outside of Ayers Kitchen isn’t the only thing that differs from Buddy’s. The new dining hall has new menu options and is serving a variety of new features.

“[There’s] an action station where we will be able to service various cuisines from – a smoked station for slow-smoked meats, a potato bar,” Vaught said explaining some of the different menu options.

“There is a lot more food options here than in Buddy’s, my only complaint would be the small plates,” said Bostic.

In addition, the new dining hall has hand-scooped ice cream. As well as healthier options such as a new salad bar, a hot breakfast bar, plenty of fruit and vegetables and more options for those with dietary restrictions such as a gluten-free station.

“Great for those that follow a vegan or vegetarian diet,” Vaught said emphasizing the various food options.

“There is something for almost everyone here,” Bostic said.

Dining Hours

Students can eat in the new dining hall Monday – Thursday 7:30 a.m. -8:00 p.m., Friday 7:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m., and weekends 9:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.

“Hot food is served between the hours of 7:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. for breakfast, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. for lunch, and 4:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. for dinner,” Vaught said.

How To Pay

Students are able to eat at the new facility by swiping their meal cards, which is tax-free. Students without a meal plan can pay $10.50 before tax, the same rate (tax-free) for flex users. Vaught encourages students to get some type of meal plan to eat tax-free.

“Any type of meal plan used will benefit you as you save on the tax,” said Vaught

Bostic said the pricing to get inside is not bad whenever he thinks about it.

“It’s honestly not that bad, I would spend about $8.00 getting a meal from the Chick-fil-A in the food court,” said Bostic.

Other Campus Dining Openings

With the opening of the new Ayers Kitchen, students are also wondering when Sidelines, formerly known as Bronchos Sports Grill inside the university suites will reopen its doors. Vaught says they will open there door in February barring no construction hold-ups.

Share This