The Chowhound, one of Campus Auxiliary Services’ more recent additions to campus eateries, hasn’t been driving around campus as usual this semester. The absence has not gone unnoticed by students. The traveling restaurant has a Facebook page that is updated from the perspective of a personified “Chowhound.” A post made on Jan. 28 read, “Well, the cold weather has done me in, and I’ve gotten a bit sick. I’m being taken in to be poked and prodded, should be back out on Thursday!”
It became clear on Jan. 29 that the Chowhound’s issues were worse than originally predicted. The page was updated again, with the post indicating that the original complications brought to light a much larger issue within the Chowhound’s hardware, stating “Not sure when I’ll be back to my normal self roaming the campus, but I’ll be sure to let you know!”
After this, there were no more personified posts, the existing ones left up to the interpretation of Geneseo’s student body. Talk of engine explosions and cold-weather complications were commonplace; however, this was over a month ago, and the Chowhound hasn’t been heard from or spotted driving around since then.
Director of Culinary Operations and Executive Chef of CAS Jonna Anne commented on the current state of the Chowhound. According to her, there was an engine failure.
“The root cause of the problem is that the engine had a major internal engine component failure,” Anne said. “Basically, the engine just stopped working and we had to have [the Chowhound] towed from Geneseo to Rochester.”
She also noted that the reason the Chowhound has been out of commission for so long is due to the arduous nature of the necessary repairs.
“They need to diagnose the problem, take out the engine, order a new engine and install it,” she said.
The Chowhound was set up a year and a half ago for the Geneseo campus, so the engine failure came a surprise to CAS.
“We had it built for us by our specifications. Everything was new, and it shouldn’t have had these major problems,” Anne said.
The issues are not assumed to be a result of the extremely cold winter.
“[The Chowhound] got through last winter, and the vehicle has been winterized, so that’s not the problem. But everyone has had those cars that the engine just has something quirky about it,” she said.
To ensure that the vehicle does not have these problems in the future, CAS plans on following a regular maintenance schedule. The major problem, according to Anne, is that an engine failure such as this, or any major component failure, is impossible to predict.
Although there aren’t many specific details on the current state of Geneseo’s restaurant on wheels, Anne said that the new engine is being installed and the Chowhound could return after spring break.