The Bobcat Bistro at Ohio University Lancaster represents a union of OUL students, the Lancaster community and Ohio University in Athens in many different ways.
One example of that is the name of the student lounge. Students at OUL were asked to submit name ideas and then vote on the name they liked best. Student Zoe Ferrell submitted the name “Bobcat Bistro,” and it won the vote in a landslide. The “Bobcat” section of the name connects OUL to the Ohio University athletic teams in Athens, while the word “Bistro” fits with the physical location of the lounge on the Lancaster Campus.
“Bistro” is defined as “a small restaurant serving moderately priced simple meals in a modest setting.” The word originated in France and likely developed out of the basement kitchens of Parisian apartments.
“Since the ‘Bobcat Bistro’ is located in on the bottom level of Brasee Hall and aims to serve simple meals in a modest setting, ‘Bistro’ really seemed to work with what we are trying to accomplish at OUL,” said Campus Dean Dr. Jim Smith.
The Bobcat Bistro is the product of a three-way partnership between OUL, the Fairfield County Board of Developmental Disabilities and Ohio University Auxiliaries in Athens. Ohio University Auxiliaries manages food service for the university and clients of Fairfield DD get on-the-job training working at the Lancaster Campus’ Bobcat Bistro.
Once the name was selected, Ohio University Auxiliaries Marketing Specialist Mark Brunton was brought in to design the logo for the Bobcat Bistro.
“I did some research locally to find a common thread to bring the outside to the inside of the Bistro,” said Brunton. “I looked at outcroppings of Mount Pleasant. I found one that looked pretty cool so I pulled that and implemented it into the design. So, the background where it’s stamped ‘Bistro’ in the logo is actually a rock outcropping from Mount Pleasant.” Mount Pleasant is located close to campus.
Dean Smith also gave Brunton an idea about the logo and became part of the final design. Smith asked Brunton about making the word “Bistro” look like a dictionary listing.
“Dean Smith wanted to connect the Bistro logo to the fact that OUL is an institution of education,” said Brunton. “I put a little bit of a different twist on it but gave it the look of a dictionary with the dot between the two syllables in the word.” The inspiration for the logo was to go for a little more upscale look but also with a kind of nature and outdoors feel. That is why some of those natural and rustic elements were included. In the logo Brunton tried to marry the natural beauty around OUL with the primary educational mission of the campus.
The Bobcat Bistro opened with the start of spring semester in 2015. The area was painted and students will notice a new ordering window and flooring. The renovation was funded by a grant from The Marten’s Fund, Ohio University Auxiliaries and private donors.