New campus cafe and housing to open in Fall 2022

Kinsey Canez, Managing Editor

Hungry campus diners have limited choices: Crash’s Cafe, Panda Express, World of Wings, Caliente, Get Fresh (all at the USU) and a Starbucks at the library.

This is going to change.

Last month, remodeling for a new dining option — called the Campus Way Cafe — began at Campus Way and Barham Drive, on the ground level of the QUAD.

The cafe is expected to open in August.

This project is managed by CSUSM Corp., a supporting organization of the university that oversees the campus dining options.

“The cafe will be all-you-care-to-eat with a wide variety of options that include rotating menus and specials,” Janelle Temnick, the manager of Auxiliary Services for the corporation, said in a recent interview. “The expanded food offerings will include vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, to-go options, a grill, a deli, and pasta, pizza and salad stations.”

The cafe hours will be open for more hours than current campus dining offerings, with breakfast, lunch and dinner menus every day of the week, Temnick said.

She said it will accommodate around 300 people with both indoor and outdoor seating.

“There will also be opportunities to host events, gatherings and cooking classes,” she said.

“… Students, faculty and staff can purchase meal plans to eat at the dining café. If they do not wish to purchase a meal plan, they can still eat at the dining café and will pay the door price for their meal,” she said.

The public will be welcome, too.

UVA and QUAD residents will not have to buy meal plans as their quarters include kitchens, but both meal plans or walk-in purchases will be available.

North Commons residents will need to purchase meal plans.

North Commons, which is set to open in the fall and is located next to Parking Structure Two and the Extended Learning Building, will house 330 students in traditional dorm-style units without kitchens, Temnick said.

Dining option talks aren’t new.

“We first began having conversations with ASI leaders back in 2016,” she said. “We knew as the campus grew and the needs of students changed, our community would be looking for additional dining options.”

The pandemic delayed construction for a year and a half after originally being set to open in fall 2020.

As a 2004 (B.A.) and 2011 (M.A.) alumni of CSUSM, Temnick said she’s excited to have a hand in this project.

“One of the things I love most about my job is being a part of the growth that has made our campus what it is today,” she said. “…When I started here, we only had three buildings and limited campus programs, so we have come a long way since then.”

Editor’s note: More information and renderings of Campus Way Cafe and North Commons can be found at