After years in the works, CSU Kosher Bistro may open in fall of 2016

Tatiana Parafiniuk-Talesnick

A Kosher Bistro to be installed in Parmelee’s Dining Center has been in the works for two years, and Colorado State University has even gone so far as to hire a trained kosher chef and supplied the station, but there is still no opening date.

Housing and Dining Services is aiming to open the Kosher Bistro during the fall 2016 semester. The bistro would be open Monday through Thursday for lunch and dinner.

Ad

“Kosher means to fit to eat, a way to live to for Jewish people,” said Rabbi Yerachmiel Gorelik. “We eat foods that are appropriate to the sensitivities of our soul.”

In April 2015 during preparation for passover, Rabbi Yerachmiel Gorelik explained the laws of Kosher, showing how certain store-bought products have a label indicating whether or not it is a kosher item. (Photo credit: Madison Brandt.)
In April of 2015, during preparation for passover, Rabbi Yerachmiel Gorelik explained the laws of kosher, showing how certain store-bought products have a label indicating whether or not it is a kosher item. (Photo Credit: Madison Brandt.)

Gorelik is a lecturer of traditional Judaism at Colorado State University, the director of the Rohr Chabad Jewish Center of Northern Colorado and the only Orthodox rabbi in Fort Collins. He foresees the eatery being popular among many students.

The idea of a kosher bistro on CSU’s campus was conceived four or five years ago. At that time, the president of the Associated Students of Colorado State University was Jewish and requested a kosher eatery on campus.

“Initially — and I can’t fault them — it was too expensive,” Gorelik said.

But then, something changed. CSU President Tony Frank came to Gorelik two years after the topic was brought up, determined to make a space to serve the needs of CSU’s Jewish community.

“This is a new era at CSU,” said Peter Testory, the assistant director for support and culinary operation. “CSU is glad to offer their services.”

In April 2015 during preparation for a large Passover dinner that occurred in the LSC, Rabbi Yerachmiel Gorelik painstakingly looked at each lettuce leaf to be sure no insects were present as that would violate Kosher law. (Photo credit: Madison Brandt.)
In April of 2015, during preparation for a large Passover dinner that occurred in the Lory Student Center, Rabbi Yerachmiel Gorelik painstakingly looked at each lettuce leaf to be sure no insects were present as that would violate kosher law. (Photo Credit: Madison Brandt.)

Despite various speed bumps, Housing and Dining Services has enthusiastically undertaken this project and looks forward to seeing how it will serve CSU’s students.

“The biggest thing is that you don’t have to be kosher to eat this food,” said Elizabeth Poore, the director of Dining Services.

Poore emphasized the opportunity the kosher bistro presents to inform students about other cultures, and Testory agreed.

“Education doesn’t stop out of the classroom,” Testory said. “It’s a chance for education.”

Ad

Since Frank got behind the idea, it has been a slow process getting it off the ground. Many different ideas have been played with.

First, the solution was to create a food truck. The wheels were set in motion, but one overlooked rule about food trucks was brought to attention.

According to a City of Fort Collins ordinance, food trucks have to move locations after a certain number of months, which is a problem when Housing and Dining intends to have a permanent facility available.

Following the failure of the food truck, other issues have come up in construction and the opening date for the bistro has been pushed back. At this point, the bistro is tentatively set to open during the upcoming fall semester.

“I’m hesitant to give a date, but it is our hope to start in the fall,” Poore said.

According to Gorelike, having a place that serves Jewish students will be advantageous for the entire community.

“On multiple levels, it sings a good song about CSU,” Gorelik said. For more information on the kosher diet, visit the Chabad of Northern Colorado website.

Collegian Reporter Tatiana Talesnick-Parafiniuk can be reached online at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @tatianasophiapt.