Mississippi State dining traditions to get transformation – bring back dog-bone cookies, coffee, ice cream to original location

Published 7:42 am Sunday, January 14, 2024

A Mississippi State campus icon that has been an MSU tradition for decades, serving dog bone cookies, coffee, and MUS ice cream milkshakes to students and alumni, will soon return to its original location after an expansion and renovation.

The State Fountain Bakery will be part of the renovated lower portion of Perry Cafeteria and offer an expanded menu when it returns to its original location in 2025 following the renovation to Perry, giving the 102-year-old building modern amenities while maintaining its historic character.

The Perry Cafeteria renovation is set to begin following the spring 2024 semester. Because of the renovation, Perry Cafeteria will be closed during the 2024-25 academic year. It will reopen in August 2025 as Perry Hall with exciting new concepts. It will no longer be an all-you-can-eat style cafeteria but will instead offer three food hall concepts: a southern-style kitchen offering a modern take on comfort food, a barbecue and grill offering, and a produce/salad concept. Additionally, Starbucks will relocate to Perry in 2025 with an expanded footprint.

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While Perry is closed for construction, MSU will facilitate four to six food trucks located at various stations around campus that will accept flex dollars. Fresh Food Company and McArthur Café will remain open as well. The construction at Perry also will impact State Fountain Bakery because the bakery’s kitchen is located in Perry. The current bakery location in the Colvard Student Union will be a “Perry-to-Go” venue during the 2024-25 academic year and accept block meals.

Originally built in 1921 in Late Gothic Review architectural style, Perry Cafeteria has been at the heart of campus activities and dining for more than a century. The building is named in honor of 1919 Mississippi A&M graduate George D. Perry, a strong financial supporter of the university and former president of the MSU Foundation board of directors.

“Perry Cafeteria has been a central part of the MSU student experience for more than a century, and I am excited about this major investment that will allow the facility to meet the modern dining needs of our students while maintaining its distinction and historic character,” said MSU Vice President for Student Affairs Regina Hyatt. “We appreciate Aramark for partnering with us on this upgrade and the temporary plans to provide for student dining needs during the 2024-25 academic year.”

Adjacent to Perry, construction began in December as crews work to renovate the Student Media Center and University Florist building to create an expanded Subway and Bento Sushi, a new addition to campus that will serve sushi and a variety of Asian noodles.

Also in December, a partial renovation began at Fresh Food Company to include a stand-alone True Balance venue, providing additional options for individuals with some of the most common food allergens. Fresh Food Company will remain open during the renovation. Subway, Bento Sushi and True Balance all are slated to open in time for the fall 2024 semester.

Earlier this year, the University Florist relocated to 205 Technology Boulevard, with retail items available for purchase at the MAFES Sales Store. The Henry F. Meyer Student Media Center, which houses offices for The Reflector student newspaper, will remain in the building.

The lower portion of Perry will also include an expanded and refreshed space for Moe’s Southwest Grill. Both the bakery and Moe’s will be closed during the 2024-25 academic year as renovations take place at Perry, but will re-open in August 2025.

“We are dedicated to continually enhancing the dining experience at Mississippi State University, and this expansion is just the beginning of our plans,” said James Jankowski, resident district manager for MSU Dining Services. “All of the upcoming renovations reflect our commitment to elevating that experience for our community.”