Fifty30 Elevated Eats offers new dining experience for students

Lyra Wiley

The dining opportunities in the Lory Student Center can vary depending on a student’s mood for food.  

Fifty30 Elevated Eats is a new sandwich shop that opened up next to the Ramskeller in the Lory Student Center. (AJ Frankson | Collegian)

The main level provides food services geared towards quick transactions while the lower level provides an opportunity to slow down and gather with friends, group partners or colleagues. Along with the Ramskeller Pub, Fifty30 Elevated Eats makes use of its space by encouraging students to sit, eat and relax, almost like a restaurant.

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Creating an open meeting space like this was intentional, according to Geoff Valdez, the assistant director for retail operations.

“We looked at student surveys and we went to the governing board before we dialed in a concept,” Valdez said. “We were looking at how the lower level was being used. It’s a different space, but people are here because they want to be here, whether they’re listening to the jukebox, reading the Collegian, grabbing a beer or meeting with friends.”

Opened Oct. 29, Fifty30 Elevated Eats has integrated itself as a part of the dining services but separates itself by making many of its products from scratch, which Valdez says is one of the keys to their success.

“We want students to have a good customer service experience and we want to be a part of that mindshare when students think ‘I have an hour to kill between classes, where could I go to grab lunch?’” Valdez said. “It does take a little bit longer to get your food here, but it’s made fresh. It’s not sitting under a warmer while you wait to order.”

Olivia Bauer, a senior human development and family studies major, and Lucy Awe, a junior social work major come here to eat because of the convenience of being able to eat while doing homework. This is something that Valdez considered when creating this space.

“There probably isn’t quite the turnover as there is up in the food court where people grab food and then they’re off,” Valdez said. “As you can see down here, people have their laptops set up, they’re plugged in and they’re meeting with friends. You see more of that down here than you do upstairs.”

When Bauer eats at Fifty30, her go-to sandwich is the Pikes Peak because of her love for steak and cheese. Bauer said she likes that Fifty30 is right next to the Skeller. Both Bauer and Awe say they would have never heard about Fifty30 if they didn’t go to the Skeller.

“There’s just something about a good sandwich and a nice beer that works beautifully together,” Bauer said. 

If I wanted to get a beer and then needed food also, instead of having to go upstairs it’s right here. Fifty30 is also good food as opposed to the crepe place that was there before. I don’t want a crepe while I’m drinking a beer.” – Ellie Moore, senior natural resources, recreation, and tourism major

The Skeller and Fifty30 are two concepts that work well together with the pub atmosphere and a pub-style sandwich. Fifty30 also offers something you won’t find anywhere else in the LSC dining services: Walrus Ice Cream.

“They have good sides,” Awe said. “Cheese curds and ice cream really covers all my bases. The food in the Skeller is good, but this is just more of a meal. It’s also semi-better than the food options upstairs. It feels like I’m actually eating real food and not just student center fast food. It also has that restaurant feel instead of just going and waiting in a long line.”

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So far, Fifty30 appears to have settled into its new home nicely, replacing the crepe and smoothie store that used to exist.

“If I wanted to get a beer and then needed food also, instead of having to go upstairs it’s right here,” said Ellie Moore a senior natural resources, recreation and tourism major. “Fifty30 is also good food as opposed to the crepe place that was there before. I don’t want a crepe while I’m drinking a beer.”  

Valdez considers the addition to fit in well with its surrounding space as well as its next door neighbor, the Skeller.

“It’s been a hidden gem for years and I think more and more people are starting to understand how cool it is down here,” Valdez said.

For recommendations on what to eat at Fifty30, the top three sandwiches are listed here.

Lyra Wiley can be reached at entertainment@collegian.com or on Twitter @lyra_wiley.