New Dining Options Feature Exciting Menus

Fresh. Convenient. Tasty. Healthy. Made to order.

Two students enjoying their lunch

The Texas Law community has great new food and beverage options, with the January opening of George’s Café and the fall premiere of the Docket coffee shop, both featuring high-quality, fresh menu items.  

The law school teamed up with the 1883 Catering Co., a division of food services and facilities management company Sodexo, to serve Lawhorns each weekday in their own backyard. Texas Law leadership has been personally involved, making sure the two dining options not only serve great food and beverages, but offer convenience to busy students, faculty, and staff.

Assistant Dean for Business Affairs Melinda Heidenreich worked with 1883 to turn an idea for new dining options into reality. “We were in a ‘food desert’ in this corner of campus,” she says, referring to the lack of nearby eateries. “And a lot of the food options that are available around campus tend to be fried, which might be tasty but are not always the healthiest. It’s really exciting that there are now healthier options right here in the building.”

Kayla Petsche, 1883’s general manager of premium service, is excited about the partnership. “We originally worked with the law school to provide catering services, building a relationship that led to a plan to revamp and reopen both George’s and the Docket,” explains Petsche, who also oversees the food service operation at Darrell K Royal Memorial Stadium.

The full makeover of George’s Café—named for donor George Fleming ’71—included the purchase of entirely new equipment and a renovation of the space. The result is “a cozy and welcoming atmosphere that accommodates both productive study sessions with textbooks and laptops and enjoyable hangouts with friends while savoring our exceptional food,” touts the café website.

Menu Options

Menu options at both George’s and the Docket are prepared fresh daily using locally grown or produced ingredients whenever possible.

Customer ordering at the Docket

For those seeking light fare, the Docket—located on the main floor, inside the Tom Clark Lounge—offers Austin’s own Cuvée specialty coffees, teas, pastries, and a limited selection of made-to-order and prewrapped hot food. It is open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Fridays.   

Located on the first floor of Townes Hall, George’s Café offers a wide selection for both breakfast and lunch, including vegetarian, dairy-free, and gluten-free options. Biscuits, English muffins, and tacos each come with eggs and other standard breakfast ingredients including sausage, bacon, and cheese. A vegetarian breakfast taco is comprised of black beans, avocado, and cheese. Yogurt parfaits, pastries, and breakfast muffins round out the appealing menu.

The variety of George’s lunch menu is just as robust as its breakfast slate. Many choices of tacos, burgers, wraps, and pizzas are made to order. The menu also offers chicken tenders and fish and chips. Sides include cheese breadsticks, salad, fries, and tater tots, as well as five rotating homemade options for soup of the day.

Saving Money, Time

The Texas Law community—students, faculty, and staff—enjoys a 20 percent discount on all items when displaying the sticker on the back of ID cards.

To save time for busy students and staff, the “Everyday” app is coming soon. It will enable customers to order ahead and then pick up their items. While some grab-and-go items are always available at both locations, the app will allow for custom-prepared items to be immediately available after pre-ordering.

1883 can also handle catering for events at the law school. From boxed lunches to coffee drops, orders can be placed for delivery and set up, all from within the building.

The Value of Feedback

Customer feedback helps management meet the needs of the Texas Law community. The George’s Café/Docket website includes a place to leave suggestions and physical comment cards are available at the café. Petsche points out customers said they preferred standard cut fries rather than curly fries so George’s Café made the change. Managers also analyze sales to determine which menu items are the most well-received by their customer base.

Kitchen employee working at grill

“Throughout my years in the service industry, many factors of menu development have changed: consideration of allergens, dietary restrictions, trends, and budgets—on the restaurant’s side and for consumers,” notes Head Chef Kristopher Fisher. “These are the main factors that we use to determine menu options.

“If I can make the changes to give customers what they want, I will do what I can to do make it happen,” he says.

The Green Factor

George’s Café and the Docket emphasize a “green” mindset. “We are very focused on sustainability and are constantly making improvements to help minimize our environmental impact,” notes 1883 Marketing Manager Matthew Hay, who highlights several examples “From small local efforts like removing plastics around our grab-and-go muffins, to using paper straws in all our locations, to larger efforts like working to increase our plant-based options that help to lower our carbon footprint.”

Bringing this vision to fruition involved not only the direction of Heidenreich and Dean Bobby Chesney, but the Texas Law Facilities team as well. Director of Facilities Sylvia Hendricks and Building Supervisor Joaquin Tovar played key roles in the transformation of the space for both George’s Café and the Docket.

“We want the Docket and George’s Café to be where everyone at the law school wants to go—their true destinations of choice,” Petsche sums up.

Portrait of George Fleming

Who’s George?

George’s Café bears the name of alumnus George Fleming ’71, founder and managing partner of Fleming Nolen & Jez, LLP in Houston. A longtime supporter of Texas Law, including valued service as a trustee of the Law School Foundation from 2009-2021, Fleming generously donated $500,000 in 2005 to facilitate a previous overhaul of the ground-floor dining commons, recognizing the need for students to have a welcoming place to gather and eat. The space was renamed in his honor when it reopened in 2006. He also donated the statue of Dean W. Page Keeton that sits on the outside patio area.

Category: Law School News, Student Life