Hannah Rosenberg/Sun Senior Editor

Robert Purcell Marketplace Eatery is set to close permanently — most students aren't too disappointed.

December 1, 2022

Robert Purcell Marketplace Eatery’s Permanent Closure Elicits Student Discussion Around Food Quality and Dining Hall Preferences

Print More

Last Thursday, Cornellians enjoyed the grand annual Thanksgiving Dinner in the Morrison Dining Hall. Last year, the event took place at the Robert Purcell Marketplace Eatery. However, that dining hall has since closed its doors to students.

Since the culmination of the spring 2022 semester, the dining hall, known to students as “RPCC” has remained closed to the public. In an email to The Sun from University Media Relations, the dining room will remain permanently closed. The space it once occupied will be renovated in the future for other purposes.

Students shared various attitudes towards its closing. Danni Liu ’24, a two-year North campus resident, was unaware of the closing. After going once last year, she had never returned due to a preference for Morrison Dining, the neighboring dining hall.

“I feel Morrison and [North Star dining] have better food, but RPCC has good dim sum over the weekend, so I still hope it’s open sometimes,” Liu said. “You have limited choices of dining halls on North campus, and you need to choose among different bad options. If [RPCC dining] reopens, you have one more option, and it’s still great to have one more choice even if you are choosing among bad options.”

At the start of the Spring 2022 semester, Morrison Dining Hall officially opened, with a much larger capacity than Robert Purcell Marketplace Eatery. RPCC Dining remained open while North Star Dining Hall was closed for renovations. 

Unlike many students, Leon Carranza ’24 went to RPCC for meals many times last semester. He enjoyed his time there due to the dining hall’s closer distance to his dorm and less crowded environment.

“People tended not to go there in the spring semester, which is unfortunate for RPCC, but very good for me because there’s more room,” Carranza said.

Carranza agreed with other students citing that most RPCC foods were unexceptional, but he admitted to really liking some of the meat there. 

“There was a lot of big chicken. And they refined it … from the fall 2020 semester,” Carranza said. “I remember the chicken was quite dry [back then].”

Emily Destito ’26 began her Cornell journey this semester, never having the opportunity to experience Robert Purcell Marketplace Eatery. She learned about it during her conversation with upperclassmen.

“[A senior] she said the food wasn’t really that great. And she was just surprised that it wasn’t there anymore. She was also surprised that we had never heard about it,” Destito said. 

She would like to see the dining hall reopen to reduce the overwhelming volume of students consistently crowding Morrison and North Star dining.

“For dinner, for example, in Morrison, if they’re serving something good, there will be a line that wraps around really long. You’re going into a long queue just to get food,” Destito said. “So it’s better [for dining] to reopen another dining hall and try to balance it out more.”