After a long, sweaty workout, many UM students looked forward to enjoying a refreshing smoothie from Fitberry in the Wellness Center.
Fitberry, which was located underneath the stairs, closed in mid-May of 2022. Chartwells, who operated the smoothie bar, planned to close for the summer and determine concept plans for the future.
“In a random conversation among some student affairs administrators, the idea of having The Rat was brought up as an idea, but nothing etched in stone,” Wellness Center representative Tony Muscato said.
The idea to bring a well-loved Rathskeller-inspired menu to the Wellness Center was proposed to Chartwells, who agreed to introduce the concept in Fitberry’s previous location. Gym Rat, as it is now named, opened on Aug. 22.
The menu options are inspired by Rathskeller favorites, with a healthy twist, executive director of the Student Center Complex, Nick Rau and Alex Bulnes, director of the Rathskeller, said. Items include berry or tropical fruit smoothies, salads and acai bowls. They also serve items prepared by Rathskeller such as brown rice bowls with grilled marinated chicken topped with cilantro yogurt.
“[We hope Gym Rat offers a] student-run experience where you can sit at the counter and enjoy your meal, while engaging with student employees that prepare your food to order,” Rau and Bulnes said.
Gym Rat currently accepts dining dollars, credit cards and Cane Express as payment methods. It is open Monday through Thursday from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
In the future, Rau and Bulnes would like to see Gym Rat expand its hours and offer daily lunch specials at an economical price.
“So far [Gym Rat] seems to be well received,” Moscato said. “I think most students can identify with the Rat brand. Other non-student members are also happy to have some options for after their workout.”