Posted on: May 7, 2021 Posted by: Glacier Staff Comments: 0

By Mariam Itani, News Editor

On May 4th, Moraine Valley hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the opening of the school’s very own restaurant, Table 67. Sylvia Jenkins, president of Moraine, kickstarted the ceremony with a speech thanking all those who were involved and helped make Table 67 a reality. 

“I’m amazed at how it has transformed from a traditional classroom to a small demonstration kitchen to this beautiful restaurant that seats 50 plus guests”, says Jenkins in her speech.

Moraine Valley foundation members, staff, and chefs marking the beginning of Table 67

The ceremony continued as foundation members, culinary arts faculty and students, and Moraine board members looked on as the ribbon was cut for this new addition to the school which will offer an unconventional space for students to learn.

“Everything we do here at Moraine Valley we do it as a team”, says Jenkins. 

Many people took part in this project, including culinary arts major Juliet Vargas who created the restaurant’s name Table 67– the idea inspired by the year Moraine Valley was established in 1967. 

Juliet, who was excited to get back onto campus before transferring this semester, says the restaurant will be really important going forward, especially for the students.

“The restaurant will be a great learning experience; It’ll give students hands-on work that’ll help them learn about restaurant management, hospitality, etc.”, says Juliet. 

The restaurant is on track for full opening in Spring 2022, where diners can expect a very eclectic variety of foods, says Dean Eliacostas, a culinary arts faculty, and chef at Table 67. 

“There’ll be a wide variety of food; based on what we teach the kids. From Mediterranean cuisine to American Regional cuisine. Even the wines that we serve, you’ll see wines from California to South Africa to Spain to Greece. There are no boundaries.” 

The main purpose of this space is to provide culinary students at Moraine real-world learning experiences, and Juliet has had the chance to take advantage of this.

Dean Eliacostas and Juliet Vargas

“I’ve worked in the restaurant and the hospitality aspect of it as a server running the food, taking orders, opening wine bottles, cleaning up. Things like that is what makes this a great learning experience.”

The restaurant has been in the works for a while, all while receiving constant support from the administration, says Eliacostas. 

“We’ve been building up to this restaurant since 2019 in regards to the plans and the layout. When the pandemic hit we thought ‘man, are we gonna be able to do this?’, but the administration has been so supportive since day one, even before we did anything.”

Future plans for Table 67 are already underway as preparation to open the restaurant fully continues. 

“Our goal is to also serve lunch somewhere down the road, even if it’s like a carry-out situation. We’ll have POS (Point of Sale) systems, online reservations, and our own website too.”, says Eliacostas. 

Table 67 Plaque

Kevin Szypulinski, a science major, says he’s excited for the school to have its own restaurant.
“I think it’ll be really fun being a part of this learning experience as the customer and showing support to our peers. It’ll definitely be a great addition to Moraine, and I’m sure the food will be just as delicious as the sample box we were given”

Eliacostas also talked about the price range we can expect for Table 67: “Cost will vary, at this point, we don’t know much but we’ll keep it cost-effective. It’ll be significantly less than going to a traditional restaurant, it’s more about the experience for the students and diners.”

The ceremony concluded with the uncovering of Table 67’s plaque and a light social gathering that slowly dispersed, marking the beginning of a new form of academic enrichment.

Missed the event? Click here for the Recording of the Table 67 Ribbon Cutting Ceremony