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Completing the Menu: Essie’s Corner Opens to Rave Reviews

Dining staff members pose in newly opened Essie's Corner

The re-imagining of the dining experience at Swarthmore continues.

On Monday, the College introduced Essie’s Corner — a sparkling campus eatery on the first floor of the Dining and Community Commons (DCC).

Essie’s Corner offers a quick and seamless dining experience, with a fresh-to-order menu of healthful sandwiches and bowls and a marketplace of snacks and prepared items. 

“We continue to focus on offering an array of fresh, diverse, and sustainable dining options to our community,” says Associate Vice President for Campus Services Anthony Coschignano.

“I’m excited for how Essie’s Corner will enhance the campus dining experience,” he adds, “and thankful to our Dining team for all they do to keep our students, faculty, and staff members well fed.”

Essie’s Corner is open Monday through Friday. It boasts an array of options, including breakfast sandwiches, wraps, paninis, flatbreads, and bowls. Essie’s also features daily grab-and-go salads and popular appetizers like fries and chicken fingers. 

Coming soon are self-serve kiosks, to allow for customizations and deliver faster service, and additional offerings like espresso.

Essie’s Corner is the new iteration of Essie Mae’s Café, a beloved campus spot in Clothier Hall for more than 30 years. It was named in honor of the late Essie Mae Burkhalter, whose 38-year career in Swarthmore Dining began when the dining hall was located in Parrish Hall.

Essie Mae Burkhalter at grill in cafe named in her honor

Essie Mae Burkhalter

Many of the food and drink offerings in the new space, as well as the faces of the Dining staff and cashiers, will be familiar to College community members. But the new Essie’s looks and feels different — and the early reviews are raves. Visitors are enjoying the bigger and brighter environs, as well as the array of seating options throughout Sharples Commons.

The Essie’s Corner opening marks the completion of the DCC project, following the debut of the Dining Center in Fall 2022 and Sharples Commons earlier this year. The full-service Dining Center offers a tasty and varied selection of fresh, locally sourced food as well as gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan options at every meal.  

“Over the past several years, we have focused on offering our community a re-imagined campus dining experience,” says Coschignano. “This marks the next step in our dining program with the [full] opening of the DCC. The Dining team has worked tirelessly to make dining on campus a delicious, accessible, and memorable experience for our entire community.”

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