On Monday, Oct. 15, Ivan’s at Hinderaker, once a walk-up window cafe in front of Hinderaker Hall, was reopened as a barista-style kiosk inside of the building.
Ivan’s manager, Julie Ann Zeno, spoke with the Highlander about the process and goals of the renovation. Zeno explained that the choice was made “a few years back” after UCR first decided to remodel the Barn. Ben Eisenstein, strategic marketing and communications manager, specified the development timeline in an email, explaining that “the idea for upgrading Ivan’s began in 2014 and the thought of expansion and relocation to inside Hinderaker Hall began in 2017.”
Knowing the Barn would be closed for remodeling, Zeno says “it was decided that instead of just serving salads and other grab-and-go items, Ivan’s would be renovated to serve food like what’s over at Chung Hall,” Zeno responded, referring to Bytes. “We wanted to add more options on that side of the campus because the Barn would be under construction for some years.”
Zeno said that Ivan’s was moved indoors to allow the business to “grow” and include more food concepts than it initially had, mentioning “mac and cheese bowls, bread bowls, flatbreads and warmable items” as some of the new options now on offer. She also states that it is likely for Ivan’s to remain the only restaurant of its name.
Construction is said to have taken about three months and the area that Ivan’s was first located in was closed. Zeno added that, starting on Oct. 19, the area would be further renovated to become Ivan’s new storage area for products, an ice machine and a dishwasher. The revamp would be finished by the third week of November. Zeno states that the construction is not anticipated to disrupt business.
In terms of feedback, the new Ivan’s has received positive remarks according to Zeno. “I received a couple (positive) emails from people that work in the building, and the first couple of days we opened I talked with staff outside of the hall, and they were like ‘Wow, it’s inside!’ I got personal feedback from guests that came in at the time,” Zeno said.
Additional seating is planned in front of Hinderaker Hall. Zeno commented that this further plan for renovation, alongside the creation of the storage room, is why Ivan’s had a soft opening on Monday, Oct. 15, in order to lessen foot traffic and “prevent people working in the building to be overwhelmed right away.”
Eisenstein also provided history on the original establishment of Ivan’s. “It started out as a coffee cart in the late 90’s and was designed to be a satellite operation of Johnathan’s Coffee, which opened in 1995 in the Commons Food Court,” Eisenstein said. “As such, it was named Johnathan’s West. In 2005 the kiosk was built to replace the coffee cart.” The cafe was named Ivan’s in honor of Ivan Hinderaker, UCR’s chancellor from 1964 to 1979.
The new Ivan’s can be found inside of Hinderaker Hall, near the Humanities and Social Sciences building. Regular hours are Monday to Friday, from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.