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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Bob Jones University

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Bob Jones University

The Collegian

The Bistro offers American classics made-to-order by BJU students

Friday night dinner, Wednesday dinners-to-go part of the Bistro’s weekly restaurant service
Culinary Arts students prepare a pizza for baking for a customer at The Bistro. Staff/Heather Battles

The Bistro is a concept created and run by Bob Jones University Culinary Arts. Every Friday, the Bistro opens for dinner for the student body and the community. Fashioned after an American-style restaurant, the Bistro serves fresh food made when a customer orders it. 

When walking in, customers enter a lobby, where they can order dinner, dessert and a drink straightaway at the counter. Being a restaurant concept promoted to college students, the Bistro’s menu has been very reasonably priced. On a recent Friday, no item cost more than $8.  

Patrons can choose to eat outside or inside the Bistro’s dining room. Once your food is ready, a culinary student will bring it to you. 

“The drinks in bottles, the music playing, the little lights on the walls,” Grace Tarpley, a freshman math major, said, “I loved the environment.”  

Olivia Nix, a freshman film and digital storytelling major, liked the unique style of the Bistro concept.  

“I thought it was interesting how you ordered right there at the counter,” Nix said. “You don’t check in…you order, then you sit down, then they bring it to you…it’s different than conventional restaurants, which I found pretty neat.”

The Bistro offers fresh flatbread pizza as part of its Friday dinner menu. Staff/Heather Battles

The student staff are helpful and friendly. With Chef David Miller coming out of the kitchen to check on his students, diners are reminded that the staff is made up of students, just like them. Even so, the whole experience feels casual yet professional.  

The lobby of the Bistro is reminiscent of a small café, with glass display cases, and a counter to order food. Next to the counter, a swinging door occasionally provides sneak peeks of the happenings in the kitchen. The dining room is one space, with small tables and seating for approximately thirty people. Relaxing music plays in both the lobby and the dining room, adding to the experience by creating a pleasant atmosphere.  

The menu includes a variety of food, from burgers such as “The Hansenator” to Pasta du Jour to golden fish and chips. If you’re interested in something extra fun, ask for the pizza or dessert of the week. Bottled drinks, including glass bottled sodas, are also available for purchase.  

However, students aren’t the only people who visit the Bistro. Jordan and Leah Stevenson, 2022 alumni, decided to visit for a Friday dinner. 

“The food was really good, plus, I mean, we’re able to help support the program,” Jordan Stevenson said. 

BJU Culinary Arts students take customer orders at The Bistro on a recent Friday evening. Staff/Heather Battles

His wife, Leah, agreed. “Good experience for alumni all around.” She also noted that the dessert was especially tasty. 

“I really, really like the sorbet with the mango sauce,” she said. 

During a Friday dinner, patrons may be able to spot Chef Miller, a chef instructor for the Culinary Arts students, walking about, checking up on his students. Through the Bistro, students learn to work in a realistic restaurant scenario. 

“My goal for the class is to try to simulate what you would call ‘a la carte,’ where people come in, and they can just order anything off the menu,” Miller said. “The students have no idea how many customers they’re going to have, and they have no idea which items are going to be popular…this is reality; this is like most American-style restaurants.”  

Chef Miller has been teaching at Bob Jones University for over thirteen years, and he’s worked with the Bistro for nine years. 

The Bistro is just one of the culinary concepts done by the culinary program. Along with dinner, patrons can also purchase bakery items during Bistro hours. According to Chef Miller, first year culinary students work in the bakery. Second year students work with the Bistro and with the third dining concept, dinners-to-go on Wednesday nights.  

Dinners-to-go are geared toward faculty and staff families or to families of Bob Jones Academy students or BJU Press employees, Miller said.  

There’s something happening for everybody over at the Bistro. 

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About the Contributor
Rylie Wiedell, Staff Writer
Rylie Wiedell is a freshman English major from North Carolina. Along with writing for The Collegian, she also works at Mack Library on campus. Rylie aspires to be a published author in the future and is currently working on her debut novel.

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