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Wellsville campus restaurant’s new name honors the past

Wellsville campus restaurant’s new name honors the past

Paying tribute to the early history of the Wellsville campus while also looking ahead to the future, Alfred State has come up with a fitting new name for its restaurant at the School of Applied Technology: “The Refinery Restaurant.”

Located in the Culinary Arts Building, The Refinery Restaurant is open for lunch fine dining from 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, as well as one night per month for unique themed events, including both buffet and fine dining options. Reservations are recommended, with the exception of Thursday buffet, and can be made by calling 607-587-3170.

The next evening event will be a Festa Italiana fundraiser on Thursday, Nov. 9, with proceeds benefitting the Allegany County Vietnam Veterans Organization and Camp.

Speaking to the name choice of the restaurant, Deb Burch, chair of the Culinary Arts Department, said, “We wanted something that symbolizes both the history of the Wellsville campus, as well as the high quality of the dining experience that Alfred State offers, and so we feel that ‘The Refinery Restaurant’ is a perfect fit.”

The Wellsville campus was originally developed as an oil refinery, and was once one of the largest in the Pennsylvania oil fields. Opening in 1901, it was rebuilt by Sinclair after a major fire in 1938, and played a significant role during World War II.

As regional oil supplies dwindled, the refinery struggled, closing in 1958 after a second significant fire. Many of the refinery’s buildings still stand today and are used by Alfred State for job training to feed high-need industries such as advanced manufacturing.

Classes began in Wellsville on Oct. 19, 1966, for 110 students enrolled in five programs taught by 10 faculty members. These five initial programs were automotive service, building construction, drafting, electrical service, and food service.

The announcement of the new name that honors the past comes soon after the college announced changes to the culinary arts program and public dining options.

The changes, which took effect at the beginning of the fall semester, will better prepare students for the current food services industry, as well as improve the experience for patrons. These include a wider variety of menu options for dietary needs and healthier choices, farm-to-table options, seasonal presentations, themed menus, and customer point-of-sale devices.