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Food, Glorious Food!
The main cafeteria will be back in business this summer.


Hopkins' WIPES campaign

When you’re running behind schedule on a high-profile project like renovating the main cafeteria, you’d think comments by the hundreds would be coming your way. Leo Dorsey, director of food and nutrition for The Johns Hopkins Hospital, was bracing for a barrage of complaints.

“You know what?” says Dorsey. “There have been a few, but mostly constructive. Actually, it has been the best renovation project I’ve ever experienced.” (He’s spent 20 years in the business, nine at Hopkins.) “It’s a 45-year-old building, and you’re going to come across a lot of infrastructure issues. I think our Hopkins family understands that. They’ve been through it.”

That attitude has made it easier for Dorsey to focus on finishing the job. Last fall, with the addition of Flamers and Freshens, the first phase of construction was complete. By the end of the summer, the entire 18,000-square-foot space will reopen: Noble Roman’s Pizza was unveiled the last week of June, Einstein Bros. Bagels opens the last week in July and the main cafeteria (complete with a new name voted on by the public) will debut in August.

The hospital’s main eatery, open for breakfast and lunch, will promote a healthy, well-rounded diet. Hot foods, for example, will be lower in fat, and every product will be labeled with a nutritional analysis. A hot salad of the day (think chicken, steak) will beprepared for you by a chef. A large salad bar, specially made for the space, will hold 24 items, such as tuna with low-fat mayo or protein salads.

Although the details of the space—from the bar stools and family tables to the cashless payment system called FreedomPay—were years in the planning, Dorsey warns there are no guarantees in his business.

“You can do all the research on sales and customer counts until you’re blue in the face,” he says, “but when you open up, you are shocked that there are twice as many people at one venue and no one at another. You just can’t gauge popularity.”




Johns Hopkins Medicine

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