The Wine Spectator Learning Center was one of the most anticipated additions to Sonoma State University’s Campus, officially opening on May 29 in the evening. The building received a $11 million in donation from various sources to create the learning center. Since the fall semester of 2017, we have all been waiting to see the new modern building and what it had to offer.
What most students were excited to find out about was the new cafe located inside the building called Stomping Grounds. The name is inspired by two ideas, stomping grounds as in a place to hangout, and the process of stomping grapes to make wine. It is only fitting since the school is located in Wine Country.
Sammy Sinatra, a Communications major, has been an employee at Charlie Browns and has heard that Stomping Grounds is only accepting cash. “It’s inconvenient for students who don’t carry cash but it also takes time for a new place to get set up,” said Sinatra. Anyone thinking about trying out the new spot on campus better be sure they have cash or wolfbucks.
However, for all students, faculty, and visitors 21 and over, the cafe offers a wide selection of beer and wine after 11:00 a.m. For everyone else, there is a wide selection of coffee and other beverages.
When you visit the seven other dining venues on campus, there is a lack of variety in the food choices. Stomping Grounds finally brings something new with waffle sandwiches and a quinoa bento box. This generation seems to be much more aware of their nutrition and like many others, Shelby Cohen, age 20 and a psychology major, has been waiting for more variety on campus. “I love that the cafe has healthier options,” said Cohen.
The cafe is only open Monday through Friday from 7:45 in the morning to 7:15 at night, so be sure to make time between classes to stop by. What is exciting is that the cafe’s menu changes every week and each cycle can be found on the Sonoma State website. With each week comes a new surprise, so eating there will never get old. My favorite option is the charcuterie and pretzel plate which has salami, prosciutto, cornichons, grapes and grain mustard.
Those who have classes in the Wine Spectator Learning Center are lucky to have the cafe right outside of their classroom. Sinead Coleman, a business major, says how convenient it is to get a drink or snack in between class. “I think it is great that wine is being more integrated into the school,” says Coleman. Stomping Grounds has breakfast, lunch and dinner, so there are options to pick from throughout the day.
Located next to International Hall, the building is the farthest one from the main parking lots, but the atmosphere is worth the walk. With a modern and colorful interior, the learning center provides multiple seating areas to enjoy the newest food on campus. On a sunny day, there is outdoor seating that looks out on the grass in between Stevenson and Salazar. On the colder days, there are the cozy couches and chairs inside that are surrounded by glass walls. Wherever you sit, there is an exciting feeling from the energy of people hoping to see what the hype is about.