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Press Release

Cal Poly Unveils 1901 Marketplace

Contact: Aaron Lambert

New Campus Dining Experience Designed to Bring Students Together

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. — Cal Poly is reopening the campus’s longest-operating food service facility following a $40 million renovation. 1901 Marketplace, prior home to The Ave, 805 Kitchen and Poly Deli, will reopen on Jan. 23 in the University Union.

The revamped facility is expected to revitalize the hub of campus and give students a central place to gather, create a sense of community and enjoy a wide range of unique, customizable culinary offerings.

Renamed with a nod to the year of Cal Poly’s founding, 1901 Marketplace is the next phase of the university’s dining experience.

“The new 1901 Marketplace will serve as so much more than the humble cafeteria that it so faithfully served as for so many years,” said Cody VanDorn, chief executive officer of Cal Poly Corporation. “This renovation will create a student-focused gathering place where campus community members of all walks can visit and nourish so much more than just their appetites. They’ll experience new foods, conversations, friends and opportunities.”

The facility was a project of the Cal Poly Corporation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit university auxiliary that works in partnership to support Cal Poly. Campus Dining is a program of Cal Poly Corporation.

Following years of planning, Cal Poly Corporation broke ground in 2021 to renovate the Campus Dining Building (No. 19), which served the campus community for decades. The unveiling of this dynamic space marks a new era in Campus Dining, aligning with Cal Poly’s dedication to creating a vibrant and inclusive university experience and following its Learn by Doing ethos.

Designed with large spaces and an open-air market atmosphere, 1901 Marketplace will serve as a comfortable, welcoming space for campus community members to gather, hangout, foster friendships and enjoy each other’s company.

“It’s exciting to see this new facility open in the heart of campus,” said Aaron Fernandes, industrial engineering senior and a Cal Poly Corporation student director. “With many student favorites, it increases the variety and accessibility to food and will serve as an integral part of every student’s experience.”

The facility features two main buildings with a large, covered breezeway in between that offers seating for studying or al fresco dining and will serve as a location for vendor pop-ups. Both buildings feature large seating areas.

The space that formerly housed Poly Deli will be home to a student-centric space for gatherings and will serve as an extension of the University Union. It will include a large space with stadium-seating.

1901 Marketplace was remodeled with a sustainable and resource-efficient design. Conservation efforts throughout the facility have focused on water and energy conservation with large windows, low-flow taps and a comprehensive energy-efficient design to keep the facilities' carbon footprint low.

The open marketplace design will feature multiple separate venues with beloved national franchises and popular, student-voted cuisine concepts, including:

  •     Picos — a venue boasting Mexican favorites like tacos, bowls, burritos and house-made salsas that feature items that avoid gluten.
  •     Red Radish — a build-your-own salad bar featuring produce grown on campus, encouraging healthy and more sustainable dining choices.
  •     Julian’s — a coffee shop, relocated from the library and named after Cal Poly President Emeritus Julian A. McPhee, featuring smoothies, juice and various healthy grab-and-go options.
  •     Pom & Honey — a new Mediterranean concept with lavish wraps, bowls, salads, a variety of proteins (including vegan options), toppings, sauces and sides such as tabbouleh and olives.
  •     Poly Deli — a returning favorite with a line of signature sandwiches, half-sandwiches and build-your-own options.
  •     Chick-fil-A — recognized for its high-quality, budget-friendly offerings, opening winter quarter.
  •     Panda Express — opening in spring quarter, this student-voted must-have responds to high demand as indicated by guest satisfaction surveys.
  •     All-You-Care-to-Eat concept — with dine-in, reusable and to-go compostable box options, this concept, which will open in fall 2024, aims to empower the campus community to make sustainable choices while saving money.

“We’re always looking to promote inclusivity and dining experiences that match the culture of our unique campus communities,” said Joe Fischioni, division president of Chartwells Higher Education. “1901 Marketplace is a testament to Cal Poly’s commitment to providing an engaging environment for all, and we’re thrilled to partner with them to provide this exciting new dining experience to students.”

Cal Poly Corporation worked closely with Chartwells Higher Education, its Campus Dining partners, throughout the process. Cal Poly Corporation has been partnering with Chartwells since 2017.

Campus Dining invites the Cal Poly community to explore the diverse and exciting offerings at the 1901 Marketplace starting in January 2024. For more information, visit the 1901 Marketplace website.

About Cal Poly
Cal Poly is a nationally ranked public university located in San Luis Obispo, California, known for its Learn by Doing philosophy. Each year about 22,000 top-tier students come to Cal Poly to put knowledge into action, taking their learning outside the classroom as they prepare for careers in areas such as engineering, agriculture, science, business, humanities and the built environment. Cal Poly’s hands-on approach, small class sizes and close student-faculty mentorships result in graduates Ready Day One to impact their communities, California and the world. Visit:

About Cal Poly Corporation
Cal Poly Corporation, is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit university auxiliary to Cal Poly, providing self-supporting, innovative and high-quality services to the university and assisting the institution in achieving its educational mission. For additional information, visit or call 805-756-1451.

About Chartwells Higher Education
Chartwells is a recognized leader in contract food service management, hospitality and guest service in over 300 campuses in the U.S. Chartwells is re-inventing the on-campus dining experience by investing in high-tech, food-infused social spaces that bring students and people together to promote meaningful relationships and interactions. The company’s excellence in culinary, nutrition, technology and sustainability bring truly unique dining experiences to every campus Chartwells partners with. Learn more about how Chartwells is creating joy in campus dining and preparing students for success at,