Jayhawks dining at the K.S. "Boots" Adams Alumni Center at Kansas University these days won't notice any differences in service, but with the July departure of long-time general manager Kevin Carroll, change is the order of the day.
Bryan Greve, new manager of the center's Learned Club, says that many plans for the coming school year already were in place for the Learned Club. Those plans, he said, are still on track.
"We are committed to quality for our members," Greve noted, "and we will do whatever it takes to meet that goal."
He added that a greater emphasis on fresh seafoods and locally grown produce would be evident in dining operations.
The new "Lawrence-by-the-Sea" offering includes at least two varieties of seafood on the lunch and dinner menus every day.
Recent dishes have been Alaskan halibut tempura, grilled swordfish and broiled scallops.
Greve and Carroll explained the seafood was being flown in fresh daily and said the reason for more such dishes was members' continued interest in healthful meals even though there's still a loyalty to such less-healthful "treat" dishes such as the center's coffee liqueur-flavored calves liver and onions.
THEY ALSO noted that local produce growers are now offering a reliable and abundant supply of fresh herbs and vegetables to enhance such entrees.
Carroll, the center's first general manager and a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y., recognized early on the need for a fine dining facility within the center and, in the past eight years, has worked to establish adequate kitchen facilities and assemble a properly trained staff.
Greve, a graduate of Johnson County Community College's hospitality management program, was hired as associate general manager five years ago. He has 12 years' experience in club management, including 2 years at the Carriage Club near The Plaza in Kansas City.
As club manager, Greve said, "I'm going to enhance what he (Carroll) has done.
"It is a private club and we continue to work for the high standards."
Carroll's duties of general manager have been split. Greve manages the Learned Club and Mike Wellman is the center's facilities manager. Membership in the club is open to all dues-paying KU Alumni Association members.
Carroll, whose new position is general manager of the University Club of St. Louis, said future challenges at the Adams Center included how to maintain a high-quality facility that wasn't meant to handle the amount of traffic it must absorb to remain viable.
THE CENTER was built with private donor funds, he explained, so it is especially important that it remain in good condition. But at the same time high traffic is needed to do enough business to maintain the high quality, he explained.
Currently, there are about 2,700 members, Carroll said, and membership promotion efforts are expected to increase.
"We would like to target parents of students," he noted. "We think we've got a good product here."
He said his own personal "wish list" for the facility would be topped by extra space in the food preparation area.
Many rooms, he added, were built for purposes other than dining but now have been pressed into use as dining rooms for part of each day.
IN ADDITION to club members who come for lunch or dinner, retired KU faculty also use the center and special social events, including dinners and receptions, are held there as well.
Carroll said the social events, which must be hosted by a Learned Club member or by the university, now provide 50 percent of the center's revenue.
A number of special events also are planned exclusively for club members, and Greve said the coming year's roster includes an Octoberfest and a live lobster night.