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LaPrep opens at Instructional Center

With its appealing cafe atmosphere and specialty coffees, LaPrep is already a popular destination on campus.

The opening of the new La Prep at the Instructional Centre brings a restaurant with a relaxed café atmosphere to the mix of food choices on campus.

With its big windows, patio, and plentiful seating, La Prep provides an attractive place for students to study over a coffee, or for coworkers to meet for lunch. Because of its visibility and accessibility, it will also help draw community members onto campus.

“We want to make ourselves part of the surrounding community,” says Fran Wdowczyk, special advisor, operations and special projects. “We want to make people feel welcome on campus.”

La Prep serves sandwiches, baked goods and specialty coffees, and is applying for an LCBO license that will allow it to sell beer and wine. With big windows, a large patio, multiple TV screens, and plenty of electrical outlets it’s an appealing place to either work or relax.

One afternoon shortly after opening, students were immersed in their laptops at a counter-like table, while administrators held an impromptu meeting at the coffee bar. In the armchairs by the windows other customers read or watched hockey highlights.

La Prep is a Montreal-based chain which operates more than 45 locations throughout Canada in office towers, regional shopping centers and institutions such as universities and airports. The restaurant here is being run by an independent franchisee who is leasing the space from the university.

The restaurant was chosen based partly on the results of a 2010 food vision survey which had 1,300 respondents and showed that a café was high on the list of desired restaurants.

Wdowczyk says that La Prep makes a good addition to the mix of food service choices on campus. The majority of food options are offered through the Marketplace, under a contract between the university and Aramark Canada. The Student Union manages the restaurants located in the Student Centre, including Rex’s Den.

The Student Centre will also soon have new offerings. Work is completed on a new Hero Burger and KFC, and the restaurants are slated to open soon.

© University of Toronto Scarborough