Incline opens with new selections, design

Photo by Claire Murray | Photo Editor. The Incline, formerly known as the Off Ramp, opened Tuesday in the Union.
Photo by Claire Murray | Photo Editor. The Incline, formerly known as the Off Ramp, opened Tuesday in the Union.
Photo by Claire Murray | Photo Editor. The Incline, formerly known as the Off Ramp, opened Tuesday in the Union.

By Brittney Jackson | The Duquesne Duke

With new menu options and a renovated dining area, The Incline, formerly known as the Off Ramp, opened Tuesday on the first floor of the Student Union.

The Incline offers various dining stations such as Salads by Design, Build-a-Burger and a pizza station, Rustica, previously named 1878. Breakfast items will also be offered in the mornings and to-go items, desserts, bagels and coffee will be offered throughout the day.

According to Carrie McDonald, marketing manager for Parkhurst Dining Services, Rustica will include the same items as 1878 in addition to new baked pasta dishes such as ziti and lasagna. Personal pizzas, including plain, pepperoni and a daily specialty pizza, will be cooked in a new stone oven.

McDonald said the new stone oven gives pizza a “crispy crust and fresher taste.”

Joe Evans, director of retail operations for Parkhurst, said that The Incline will continue to serve hoagies. The personal hoagie options will consist of the same selection of breads, meats and toppings previously offered by Off Ramp.

Evans said The Incline has a new Turbo-Chef for toasting hoagies. The new miniature oven will toast approximately two hoagies in less than a minute and a half, which will greatly increase the efficiency of Rustica.

Build-a-Burger will serve the same menu items as Off Ramp, such as personal burgers and weekly dinner specials. Dinner specials will rotate on a monthly basis.

Breakfast items served during the mornings at Build-a-Burger will also remain the same as Off Ramp and include breakfast sandwiches.

In addition to classic breakfast items, Evans said The Incline will offer new breakfast specials that will also rotate, such as blueberry pancakes.

Salads by Design has expanded and will now feature three spacious sections including various types of lettuce, toppings and dressings. Evans said The Incline has also added daily signature soups available next to the salad station.

Another new feature in the dining spot will be specials during Steelers games. During the half time of 1 p.m. Steelers games on Sundays, The Incline will offer barbeque, hot and plain wings. Tuna melts, pulled pork sandwiches and gyros will also be available sometimes.

According to David Manz, district manager for Parkhurst, the new dining location’s name came from Duquesne President Charles Dougherty’s office and senior administration. The name is significant because the Duquesne Incline is an iconic Pittsburgh symbol.

The new design resulted from collaborative effort from Duquesne, Parkhurst, DRS Architects, NBM contracting and SS Kemp, the supplier of all kitchen equipment since the beginning of the project on May 8.

Manz said the goal of the design was to “add a really bright feel” to the atmosphere.

Chris Hall, general manager of retail operations for Parkhurst, said the turnout on opening day was very exciting.

Many students said the updated space and new menu items made The Incline a much brighter and enjoyable location.

“Even though it’s the same area it seems more open,” junior pharmacy major Scott Kulik said. “It seems brighter and more clean.”

Jamie Watt, a sophomore nursing major, said the Salads by Design station always used to be congested due to its proximity to Build-a-Burger.

“The new layout of The Incline made the process of getting a salad and checking out more efficient,” Watt said.

Scott Richards, associate director of auxiliary services, said he hopes The Incline becomes a mainstay for students on campus.

“It’s going to be a nice focal point for the Student Union,” Richards said.