Did You Know?: Sagamore Restaurant

January 27, 2012  

Sagamore Remodel

Bruce Haumesser, executive chef for Purdue Memorial Union 's Dining Services, and Ryan Jones, operations manager at the Sagamore Restaurant, stand at the front of the newly remodeled restaurant. Changes included lighting, paint, art, and a more upscale menu. (Purdue photo by Mark Simons)
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Purdue Memorial Union's Sagamore Restaurant recently completed its most thorough refreshing since 1965, emerging with a brighter, livelier atmosphere and a distinctively upscale menu. It is celebrating with specials at lunch next week (Jan. 30-Feb. 3).

The Sagamore, set apart by history and its second-floor location from the dining venues in Union Commons on the ground floor, offers both a main dining room and four group rooms ranging in capacity from 10 to 50 people. It offers table service with a wait staff made up of student employees.

Bruce Haumesser, executive chef in the Union's Dining Services, has created a menu of hot and chilled entrees, soups and salads for lunch. Haumesser, whose awards include a gold medal in hot foods from the American Culinary Federation, has selected strawberry shrimp tempura and grilled pineapple pork chop among the hot entrees. The Sagamore also features a Hot Action Station with varying menu, plus salad and soup bars.

Ryan Jones, operations manager at the Sagamore, says, "It's a place I'd want to show people and take them to for a business lunch. It's more consistent with how the University sees itself -- forward-looking and efficient."

The entrees, he notes, are ones commonly associated with dinner, but they are sized for lunch and served quickly enough to fit lunch schedules. The upscale tone is reflected in plate presentation also.

Overall, Jones says, "The style is contemporary befitting a large-city atmosphere, but still incorporating the classic features of the Union." An overhead sign in the hallway now helps point out the location.

The main dining room's relaxed yet classy ambience is accented by framed photographs of featured menu items, taken by the Union's art director, Jackie Riley, who also created by new logo and new design for the printed menu. The room also has new lighting and wall paint.

The Sagamore Restaurant also serves breakfast, a practice that began many years ago to meet the needs of guests at the Union Club Hotel, says Carol Houston, director of marketing and communication at the Union. The restaurant's predecessor, the Chestnut Room, opened in 1929 on the main floor, then moved upstairs in 1939 after a building expansion. The name change came with the 1965 major renovation.

The a la carte breakfast is served 6:30-10 a.m. Monday-Friday and 6:30-11 a.m. Saturday-Sunday. Lunch is served 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Monday-Friday. As with all campus services, hours may vary at holidays and academic breaks.

The grand reopening lunch specials are of two kinds. On Monday and Tuesday (Jan. 30-31), the cost of lunch will be half off everything. On Wednesday-Friday (Feb. 1-3), lunch patrons will receive a coupon for a free lunch on another date through March 11.

Reservations for lunch are encouraged, Jones says, because they enable preparation that translates into quicker service. Reservations are vital for use of the group rooms. To make reservations, email sagamorerestaurant@purdue.edu or call 49-8945. More including menus is online at www.union.purdue.edu/HTML/DiningServices/SagamoreRestaurant.aspx.

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