Abhijit Gupta discusses the various facilities and flavours that the brand new Quark will host.
We would like to thank the Hostel Affairs Secretary (HAS), Anand Babu A and one of the CMGFS (Committee for Monitoring General Facilities for Students) Core members, Sreeharsha G for their contribution to this article. We would also like to express our gratitude to the Dean (I&AR), Prof. Nagarajan and Mr. Suresh from the OAA office for their inputs to this article.
It has been almost two years since the renovation at Quark commenced. The project which was scheduled to be completed in a period of 6 months extended to more than two years. But fret no more; the brand new Quark will be opening in the end of July, with quite a long list of changes. This delay in its completion was primarily caused due to the Green Tribunal case on construction activities inside IITM.
The spacious and well-ventilated red-bricked building located just adjacent to Saraswathi Hostel was funded by the B.Tech alumni from the batch of 1973, with a grant of around INR 80 lakhs. The new structure may well be worth the wait: Quark not only promises to get re-inducted into IITM’s Food Joint Hall of Fame by hosting arguably the largest and most varied menu among all the food joints at IITM, but also provides substantial competition to the other hangout spots in insti.
Before the renovation started, Quark had only one caterer, Zaitoon, which was open from 3PM to 3AM, but the proposed timings are now from 7AM to 2AM, which means that Quark will serve breakfast items too. This change in timings may well pave the way for Quark to become a full fledged 24×7 cafeteria in the future.
An open tender was released for the multi-cuisine restaurant and Zaitoon was the only bidder. As of now, a few administration tenders are being finalized, hopefully to get Quark up and running before the new academic year. The old open-air Zaitoon will now be rebranded as an indoor two-floored Quark V2.0, not just with a multi cuisine restaurant, but with an exclusive coffee shop as well, which is expected to commence operations in September.
On the flip side, the new Quark will not be air conditioned.
The new menu on offer in Quark will include breakfast items such as Dosa, Poori, Pongal and Parathas. Along with these, Quark will serve myriad Chinese dishes, Indian breads and gravies, egg, chicken, Fish and Tandoor dishes, BBQ, frankies, burgers and juices and milkshakes at subsidized rates.
Some of the general facilities offered include separate vegetarian and non-vegetarian kitchens, with a common serving counter. The Hostel Affairs Secretary (HAS) and the CMGFS team have promised that they would take all the necessary precautions to serve pure vegetarian food. The aforementioned was the primary reason the renovation was undertaken, since the old building had a small kitchen. The kitchen waste will be segregated and disposed outside the campus by the vendor.
Another unique addition is a hall, for the student clubs to hang out and practice, and this could prove to be an alternative for SAC. There are also plans to make available WiFi facilities in the building in the future.
On the whole, the new Quark takes us one step closer to the administration’s vision of “a square — a central, human-designed, architected space” that serves as a place for students to interact.
- “Promising Vision”. The Hindu. 26 Oct 2014.