MSU’s Perry Cafeteria to Temporarily Close Starting Next Summer for Modernization and Restoration

MSU’s historic Perry Cafeteria is set to undergo a major modernization and renovation following the spring 2024 semester. (Submitted photo)

STARKVILLE, Miss.—Mississippi State University’s Perry Cafeteria is scheduled for a significant makeover, providing the 102-year-old building with contemporary amenities while preserving its historical charm.

The renovation project is slated to commence after the spring semester of 2024, marking a new chapter in dining at MSU. Consequently, Perry Cafeteria will be closed during the 2024-25 academic year and will reopen in August 2025 as Perry Hall, offering innovative culinary concepts. The cafeteria will no longer operate as an all-you-can-eat establishment but instead introduce three food hall concepts: a modern twist on comfort food with a southern-style kitchen, a barbecue and grill section, and a produce/salad concept. Furthermore, Starbucks will relocate to Perry in 2025, expanding its presence on campus.

“Perry Cafeteria has played a central role in the MSU student experience for over a century, and I am thrilled about this significant investment that will enable the facility to meet the modern dining needs of our students while preserving its unique identity and historical significance,” stated Regina Hyatt, MSU Vice President for Student Affairs. “We are grateful to Aramark for collaborating with us on this upgrade, as well as the temporary plans to cater to the students’ dining requirements during the 2024-25 academic year.”

During the construction period, MSU will provide four to six food trucks stationed at different locations across campus that will accept flex dollars. Fresh Food Company and McArthur Café will continue to operate as usual. The construction work at Perry will also affect State Fountain Bakery, as its kitchen is located in Perry Cafeteria. As an alternative, the current bakery space in the Colvard Student Union will serve as a “Perry-to-Go” venue during the 2024-25 academic year and will accept block meals.

The revamped Perry Cafeteria will feature lounge areas where students can socialize and study, and these spaces will be accessible regardless of whether students purchase food. Additionally, an extension on the north end of Perry will accommodate an expanded Moe’s Southwest Grill and reintroduce State Fountain Bakery, which will return to its original location.

Originally constructed in 1921 in the Late Gothic Revival architectural style, Perry Cafeteria has been a focal point of campus activities and dining for over a century. The building was named in honor of George D. Perry, a Mississippi A&M graduate from the class of 1919. Perry was a prominent financial supporter of the university and served as the former president of the MSU Foundation board of directors.

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