By Zachary Milewicz
In late December, the Byram Bean made its grand opening. “The Bean,” a coffee shop, is situated within the walls of Byram Hills High School. Lines are constantly out the door as students and teachers alike eagerly wait to order coffee drinks, smoothies, and pastries. Due to its success, Byram’s cafeteria will get another addition for next year: a sushi bar.
Principal Chris Walsh explains, “Byram Hills is more than just ‘a great place to learn.’ I want to do everything in my power to improve the wellness of students. I noticed students were sick of eating the same lunch every day. The deli station, salad bar, and hot lunch do not give students as much choice as they would like.” Many students agree with Walsh’s assessment. One junior says, “I have been ordering an identical panini every day since the first day of my freshmen year. In fact, I no longer need to say anything when I approach the counter.”
Walsh furthers, “I presented the idea of adding another lunch option to the Principal’s Advisory Committee and they agreed the idea would benefit students. After brainstorming several ideas – “build your own” pizza, Chipotle style burritos and bowls, a pasta station – I surveyed students in all four grades during lunch and by far, the most popular addition idea was sushi.”
The sushi bar will be constructed at the end of June, once the school is emptied for the summer. It will be built to the left of the registers, which used to house hot coffee dispensers. This space has been vacant for the past few months due to the opening of the Byram Bean.
“The logistics have yet to be finalized,” says Gregory Carlson, the Assistant Superintendent for Business and Management Services. “We are currently deciding between vendors.” It has been narrowed down to KOKU, Kira, and Made in Asia. Carlson explains that the district is currently reviewing proposals from all three and expects a decision will be reached by the end of the month. One sophomore jumped with joy when she heard the news. The first words out of her mouth were “OMG! I love sushi!” With enthusiasm, she continued, “My friends and I always go out to dinner for sushi. I will definitely be buying it for lunch.”
While the menu has not yet been finalized, students can expect to see most of their typical rolls: California, shrimp tempura, spicy salmon. There will also be a daily special depending on the market selection. Students will even have the choice between white and brown rice.
Health teacher Douglas Carpenter was thrilled to hear the news. He said, “I think it’s great that students will be able to eat a lunch they love and be nutritious at the same time. Sushi offers many benefits: brown rice is high in fiber, fish is protein, and avocado, carrots, and cucumbers can provide students with part of the vegetable servings they need.”
Current lunch meals cost around $3.00. Due to the steeper cost of ingredients – freshly caught fish delivered daily, etc., sushi will come with a higher price tag. It will be sold by the roll, or in a package with six pieces, and cost around five dollars. The exact cost will be determined after the vendor has been selected. Like at the Byram Bean, students will be able to pay by entering their lunch account code.
Everyone is excited by this news, with the exception of one group: seniors. The class of 2017 is upset with the change and one of the soon-to-be-graduates questions, “Where was this during our four years of high school?”
Unfortunately, students will need to keep waiting for the sushi bar to open, and not just until next year. This article was published as part of April Fools’ Day. Nobody was interviewed for this article; all included quotes are fictitious. There are no plans to open a sushi bar in the BHHS cafeteria.