Recipe for Renovation
A community staple as old as the school itself — built in 1971 — the student-operated establishment hadn’t been updated in 24 years. In addition to a total makeover, improvements include opportunities for guests to get an in-depth look at those running the show.
A foyer adorned with trophies won by the culinary students welcomes visitors as they wait for a table. Once inside, soft pastel paint, dark woodwork and carpeting transform this classic restaurant into a modern upscale diner. TVs feature a slideshow of students showcasing their culinary and hospitality talents. And the giant windows leading into the kitchen allow patrons to watch the students hard at work.
“It being student-run is the reason I started coming,” says Jeanne Pease, a 21-year veteran visitor. “It’s fun to watch the students evolve throughout the semester.”
Chef instructor Timothy Michitsch, who instructs the students alongside hospitality services instructor Maurina Driscoll, says the area’s senior citizen population is a huge supporter of the Buckeye Room, and he’s glad they’re excited about the changes.
“Past graduates of the culinary program are coming back to see it, too,” he says.
For those looking to reserve the room for lunch and a meeting, new features also include a projection screen and additional electronic equipment. While renovations were much needed, Michitsch says the most rewarding treat of this six-month endeavor has been seeing the kids’ reactions.
“The students were able to see the entire renovation,” he says, adding that the experience instilled the students with a renewed sense of pride. “It’s changed their attitude. Working in this atmosphere has really helped the students step up their professionalism.”
As of the fall school semester, the Buckeye Room Restaurant will be changing its hours. Visit lcjvs.com/public-services for more information or call 440-774-1051, ext. 22400 to make reservations beginning October 2016.