After much anticipation, the beloved Memorial Union Terrace finally opened in late June. It generally opens in mid- to late April, but the coronavirus threw a wrench into those efforts for 2020.
“The Terrace is one of Madison’s favorite locations in the summer, both for the campus community and for the city of Madison as well,” says Mark Guthier, director of the Wisconsin Union and associate vice chancellor for student affairs. So when the Union was deciding which of its facilities would be the best place to reopen, “the Terrace was the most obvious choice.”The Memorial Union Terrace is currently limited to 25% capacity, masks are required, and tables are spaced six feet apart in order to maintain strict social distancing rules. “The health and safety of our members and guests were top priorities as we made and implemented our plans,” says Shauna Breneman, communications director for the Wisconsin Union.
But while it remains a special place, things are definitely working differently in these pandemic times. Here’s what you need to know before your next Terrace visit.
Step 1: Prepare for your visit
You must book a reservation via OpenTable. You can do this up to two days in advance, and parties must consist of six people or fewer, all from the same household. Make sure at least one member of your party is a UW-Madison student or employee, Wisconsin Alumni Association member, Wisconsin Union member or active-duty U.S. service member. If not, you can also buy a one-day guest membership. You should also download the Grubhub app before you get to the Union — it’ll come in handy later.
Step 2: Check in for your reservation
Show up at the entrance by Alumni Park a few minutes before your reservation; there might be a short line to get in. And make sure you’re wearing a mask! If you don’t have one, there are free masks available at the first check-in. An employee there will confirm your reservation and make sure one member of your party has a membership. There’s another station after the initial check-in, where each person will receive a wristband. Next, you wait at a white circle on the grass until a Union staffer discloses your table number and leads you there.
Step 3: Order and receive your food and drinks
After you’re seated, you should order your food through Grubhub. If you’re a student, you can connect your Grubhub to your NetID. If not, you can log-in as a guest. When you’re in the app, click on “My Grubhub,” go to the gear button in the upper right corner, select the “Campus Dining” option, and log-in. Once you’ve signed up for campus dining, you can order your meal through the “Terrace Restaurant” and a Union employee will deliver it to your table. If you’re 21 or over and want to order an adult beverage, you can still order your drinks through the Grubhub app. However, you can’t pay for alcohol through the app; instead, a Union employee will bring it to you and you pay once they verifies your ID.
Step 4: Sit back, relax, and enjoy!
Congrats, you made it! Now enjoy your 90 minutes of yummy food and a beautiful Lake Mendota view. (Each reservation has a maximum stay of 1½ hours.) The process may be different, but the result is still the same: a beautiful day lakeside with your loved ones.