Currently located in McCord Hall on the agriculture campus, Mabel’s (its official name was originally the Agricultural Lunchroom) opened in 1946 on the lower floor of an army surplus barracks-type building erected to the west of Morgan Hall to provide additional classroom space. The facility in the army surplus building replaced a tiny lunchroom adjacent to the creamery on the south wing of the first floor of Morgan Hall. Mabel’s was named for its first manager, Mabel (Mrs. Hubert O.) Davenport, and retained the name when it moved to McCord Hall in 1949. Mabel Davenport operated the cafeteria from 1946 until she retired in December 1982. During the time she was in charge, she received raves for both the kind of person she was and for her cooking. In 1978 she received the E. J. Chapman Award for Outstanding Service, an award annually presented to an Institute of Agriculture support staff member. She died in 1997 at 83 years old. UT’s Dining Services assumed operation of the facility in 1985, and the facility was renovated in 1998, reopening January 19, 1999. In summer 2003 both the menu and the aesthetics of the café were updated.
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