A look inside Auburn’s new $110M Culinary Science Center set to open this month

Rendering Of Auburn University Hospitality Center
Rendering of the Tony and Libba Rane Culinary Science Center. (Auburn University)

The new Tony and Libba Rane Culinary Science Center (RCSC) will finally open its doors August 15 as students return to Auburn’s campus for the fall semester. Here’s a look at what you can expect.


Construction In Auburn
Construction on the RCSC in July. (Grace Howard / The Bama Buzz)

Named in honor of Tony and Libba Rane, the goal of the Tony & Libba Rane Culinary Science Center (RCSC) is to provide students in the university’s Hospitality Management program the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in hospitality operations. The RCSC is the result of decades of visionary leadership and collaboration between the Auburn University College of Human Sciences and industry leaders, beginning with Ritz-Carlton co-founder Horst Schulze and continuing with Ithaka Hospitality Partners since 2018. After months of construction and anticipation, the RCSC will finally be open to students and guests this August.

Hey Day Market

Student Baking
Students will receive hands-on application of culinary skills. (Auburn University Hospitality Management Program / Facebook)

The RCSC will feature the city’s first food hall, Hey Day Market, a vibrant addition to Auburn’s culinary scene. The market, opening August 15, features nine vendors offering meals that are prepared onsite with a focus on sustainable sourcing. Hey Day Market will be open seven days a week to students, family and friends.


Auburn Restaurant
Rendering of 1856. (Rane Center at Auburn University / Facebook)

Named after the year of Auburn University’s founding, 1856 is an upscale restaurant located on the first floor of the RSCS. Under the guidance of a chef in residence, students in the Hospitality Management Program will prepare and serve a tasting menu for guests. Providing a one-of-a-kind, ever-changing culinary experience for students and guests alike, the restaurant is set to open August 17.

The Laurel Hotel & Spa

Infinity Pool
Rooftop infinity pool at The Laurel! (The Laurel Hotel and Spa / Facebook)

As part of the RCSC, The Laurel Hotel and Spa is a luxury hotel featuring a spa, rooftop pool and yoga pavilion. In addition to offering an upscale experience for guests, The Laurel will serve as a place for Auburn hospitality students to gain valuable experience and cut their teeth in luxury hotel management operations. Can’t wait to book your room? The Laurel is set to open August 29 and is now accepting reservations on their website.

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Rooftop Terrace

Rooftop Terrace
Rooftop herb garden. (Rane Center at Auburn University / Facebook)

On the roof of the RCSC is the rooftop terrace which features a huge, luxury infinity pool. In addition, there will be a bar, lounge area and 4,000 square foot rooftop garden. The garden, which is managed by the department of horticulture in the College of Agriculture, will provide fresh herbs and produce to be used in the 1856 kitchen and Hey Day Market. The terrace will be open to the public, excluding the infinity pool which will only be accessible to hotel guests.

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Grace Howard
Grace Howard
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