Customers took in the lively atmosphere of the space, talking amongst themselves. Music and the smells of cooking food filled the air while Kansas State memorabilia lined the walls in Union Station by JP’s during its grand opening Thursday.
As a gastropub, Union Station by JP’s “focuses on high-quality food paired with some great drinks as well,” said John Green, associate director of retail operations at Housing and Dining Services.
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Union Station’s menu features locally sourced items and ingredients, Green said. Twelve of the gastropub’s sixteen beers come from microbreweries in Kansas, and some ingredients come from K-State’s own campus.
“We have a diverse menu of pizzas that are handmade from scratch, barbecue, traditional burgers that are featuring Weber Hall beef,” Green said. “We also have some Call Hall items as well that we’re featuring in the dairy products.”
The restaurant offers a versatile setting, suitable for numerous occasions.
“[It’s] comfortable and casual, yet it’s also that place where students can have their first dates,” Green said. “It would be classy enough to facilitate that.”
The restaurant also caters to sports fans, with multiple TVs lining the walls.
“I’ll spend a lot of time here with my roommates and friends maybe for games, or just have a few beers on a weekend or something,” Quentin Henricks, junior in finance, said. “It seems like a pretty chill environment.”
The atmosphere works toward achieving one of the restaurant’s values, Green said.
“It’s important to us that we have a place where everyone feels welcome,” Green said. “That’s what we try to build here, where people can get together to hang out, watch a game or even just as functional as having lunch or dinner.”
Kyle Kilner, freshman in engineering, said he thinks the inclusion of a dine-in restaurant in the Student Union is likely to draw the attention of more students.
“I think it will bring a lot of older people — maybe upperclassmen — here and spend more time in the Union,” Kilner said.
Green emphasized the fact that the gastropub could be part of the first impressions that incoming students have of K-State.
“It’s important for us to feel accessible and that everyone is welcome here,” Green said. “We really feel strongly about the students, faculty, staff and the K-State community and see this as the front door.”