Opening of 1869 Grille experiences continuous delays


Seth Martin | @seth.mart

Opening of 1869 Grille experiences continuous delays

The 1869 Grille was slated for opening in fall of 2021, unfortunately due to the COVID-19 pandemic and staffing shortages, the opening was delayed.

The 1869 Grille is a restaurant run by the Student Center that provides handmade food to students and is run by employees of the student center and student workers.

Tena Bennett, the director of the Southern Illinois University (SIU) Student Center, said they were unable to open the Grille due to staffing shortages.


“COVID has also made us cautious in opening it as well,” Bennett said.

Like other businesses throughout the region and country, there is a low number of applications to fill vacancies, Bennett said.

“We would need 6 to 10 staff, including full and part time, to run the Grille,” Bennett said.

All the restaurants in the Student Center, exempting Subway, are owned and operated by the Student Center, Kent Epplin the Associate Director of the Student Center said.

All the staff members are university employees or student staff, Epplin said.

The Student Center restaurants currently have 10 to 13 full-time staff members working in the dining operations.

Student employees are also hired to help, Epplin said.


“At this time we don’t have an opening date scheduled for the 1869 Grille,” Bennett said.

Staff reporter Joel Kottman can be reached at [email protected] and on Twitter: @JoelKottman To stay up to date with all your Southern Illinois news, follow the Daily Egyptian on Facebook and Twitter.