Friley Windows brings fresh dining options to students and staff


Hannah Olson

Friley Windows, the newly renovated dining center on Aug 21.

Ryan Pattee

After three years of proposals and construction, the highly anticipated Friley Windows will have its formal opening Tuesday, but has been open to students all week.

The first Friley dining hall was closed in 2003, due a lack of students actually using the facility.

“The capacity wasn’t there at the time,” Mohammed Ali, director of dining, said of the previous Friley dining hall. Since then, the needs of students have clearly since changed from 14 years ago, and a 380-seat dining facility now occupies the space known as the ‘dungeons’ of the residence hall.

“In 2014 it had been in discussions Friley was going to be retail like the Memorial Union, but when they looked at finances it wasn’t a viable solution,” Ali said. “When I arrived, I decided that a dining hall would be the most beneficial to ISU students.”

Due to the necessity of a new dining hall, the project continued smoothly after its $6.2 million budget and 12-month construction plan were proposed and approved. The facility features an industrial design style and windows that let sunlight into the space.

“This dining hall is different than anything else we have. The atmosphere is different. The windows itself make a difference because everyone can look outside,” Ali said. “We have vegan tofu from Iowa City, they use Iowa soybeans which are all natural, rotisserie chicken using free range chicken from Iowa and the pork is also from Iowa. [There is also] new kinds of pizza, recipes, grilled meats, Churrasco and many other international flavors and foods.”

After one week of being open, many students praised the dining hall’s appearance and wide variety of food, as Friley Windows features many kinds of food from different countries and cultures.

“It looks very nice, it’s really close to my dorm,” Daniel, a freshman resident at Friley Hall, said. “I can literally go down the stairs through the hall, and I also like how late it stays open, so if I want a late night snack I can get one. It’s pretty clean and has a nice feel to it. The pizza is a key feature that stands out, it has a different kind of dough, and the ice cream. They use a different recipe and the ice cream is real and has different flavors, it’s not like that soft-serve stuff.”

Other students were pleased at the new convenience of having a dining center right below their residence hall.

“It’s nice, the food’s pretty good, a lot of people come in and out and it’s just a nice place to be,” Ethan, another freshman, said. His favorite thing about Friley Windows? “Having the place I work and place I eat right below my floor for easy access.”

With good food, good decor, and positive feedback from students, Friley Windows is shaping up to be the next big place to eat on campus.