In a word, the old Edmondson Faculty Center, with its chocolate brown wood paneling, oversized leather chairs and dim lighting, was dark.

And so, when it closed for renovations the first order of business was to brighten the place up starting with the decor. Gone are the panels of stained glass that kept sunlight at bay for decades and, in its place, is a wall of glass behind which runs a perimeter of bamboo. Gone, too, is the wood paneling which has been replaced with light taupe painted walls, adorned with colorful pieces of abstract art.

The food has also been lightened up to match the new room. Christina Deocampo, assistant manager of the Edmondson Faculty Center, said the menu now features fresh, local ingredients that will change with the seasons.

Probably the biggest change is that they have done away with the membership rule and made the faculty center open to all faculty and senior staff who want to have a relaxed meal at the only sit down restaurant on the Health Sciences Campus.

Doing away with the membership was the only way to achieve another goal of the remodel, which was to create an elegant and welcome gathering spot for faculty, staff and even visitors to the Health Sciences Campus.

USC Hospitality also decided to expand the hours. While the Edmondson only served lunch in the past, it will now also be open for breakfast and for what they are calling lounge hours in the late afternoon. The bar, too, has a new menu including several locally-sourced craft beers and specially-crafted cocktails and mocktails with medically-themed names such as doctor’s orders.

Just about the only thing that hasn’t changed at the Edmondson Faculty Center is the name. Although almost everything about the Edmondson needed a change, a decision was made to keep the name as a nod to its past and its history on campus.

Reservations can be made on or through the Edmondson’s Facebook page For more information, visit:

— By Hope Hamashige