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Monday, October 02, 2023

Bikers on campus have a new obstacle to avoid — Krishna Lunchers.

Krishna Lunch moved from the grassy area of the Plaza of the Americas to the bike lanes near Peabody Hall.

Hanan Schwefel, manager of Krishna Lunch, said the move was a combined decision between Krishna Lunch and UF.

“We asked to be moved here because there are many places to sit, and it’s a place we used to serve in the past,” Schwefel said.

He said the group served near Peabody Hall five years ago, before they moved to the opposite side of the plaza.

The new location is more effective for both students and Krishna Lunch employees, he said.

The bike lanes adjacent to Library West offer more seating and a larger layout than the grass on the plaza, Schwefel said.

“I definitely hear that people like it because there is space to sit,” he said.

The seating increase also means there is no longer a need for Krishna’s signature green chairs.

“For us, it’s less work because we used to bring the green chairs, some 100 chairs,” Schwefel said. “By moving back here, we don’t have to carry those anymore.”

However, at first, University Police was concerned about the safety hazards of moving the lunch so close to a major student traffic area, said Capt. Jeff Holcomb.

“The location they moved to was near student traffic areas,” he said. “We requested that they move (again) in order to avoid any traffic and safety concerns.”

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Schwefel said the group complied and moved farther from the sidewalk.

Still, some are worried about the effects of the move on the area’s traffic pattern.

Reynaldo Calzadilla, a 20-year-old UF computer science sophomore, said the crowds can make getting to class on time a challenge.

“I usually go by on my skateboard, but it’s gotten harder for me to do that without people cutting in front of me,” he said. “I almost fell off. It was really frustrating.”

Meanwhile, students like Sirah Mora, a 19-year-old UF international studies sophomore, seemed willing to adjust to the change.

“I do drive my bike around that area sometimes to get to class,” she said. “It was a little annoying at first because the amount of people walking seemed to get bigger, but I don’t think it’s much different than before.”

A version of this story ran on page 1 on 1/16/2014 under the headline "Krishna Lunch moves twice, now near bike lanes"

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