Virginia Tech will celebrate the Grand Opening of D2 (formerly Dietrick Dining Hall) at 4 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 4, and will open to students at 5 p.m.

At 4:30 p.m., those involved with the summer-long renovation will hold a ribbon cutting. Beginning at 5 p.m., there will be a raffle sign-up for students to win prizes, courtesy of Dining Services, such as a mountain bike, T-shirts, gift cards and baskets, and ski lift tickets.

The $6.5 million renovation completed in 162 days came as an effort to move away from cafeteria-style dining and more toward restaurant-style as well as to meet student needs and provide a more aesthetically appealing atmosphere.

D2 features eight dining venues that create an "international marketplace" and allows students to watch as their food is prepared. "The freshness of the meals is what makes the style appealing compared with traditional cafeterias, where you don't see the food being made," said Robert Coffey, Virginia Tech's senior associate director of dining services.

The various venues of D2 offer a plethora of dining options including Asian, Brazilian, Italian, Mexican, and Mediterranean cuisine, along with a deli, an all-American salad bar, and dessert area. These venues include:

Pan Asia: Gas-fired woks are used to create a variety of Asian foods at this venue. Menu items include: won ton soup, sweet and sour chicken, fried rice, chow mein noodles, and egg rolls.

Gauchos: This Brazilian venue features churrasco, a style of barbecue involving skewered meat grilled over an open flame. Also available are: carved meats, grilled sandwiches, hot vegetables, cheeseburgers, and French fries. Premium items such as cooked-to-order steak, seafood, and chicken also are offered.

Mangia!: A brick oven is used to prepare Italian food at this venue. Featured items include: pizza, calzones, bread sticks, strombolis, pasta, and Caesar salad.

Salsas: This Mexican specialty shop features: nachos, quesadillas, chili con carne, chimichangas, fajitas, and tacos.

Olives: This venue features both Mediterranean and vegetarian inspired items. Menu items include: hummus, tabouli salad, veggie burgers, fruits, vegetables, and vegetable stir-fry.

East Side Deli: This "New York-style" deli creates made-to-order hot or cold sandwiches. Items offered include: several shaved meats, a variety of cheeses, and homemade breads.

Eden's: This salad bar provides students with fresh produce, salad toppings, bread, and soups to create a meal of their liking.

La Pâtisserie: This venue allows students to choose from a variety of fresh European-style desserts. Items featured are: Belgian waffles, muffins, European pound cake, apple küchen, chocolate raspberry schnitten, strudels, and warm cobblers.

Also inside D2 are two nutrition information stations that students can use to find information on eating smarter. The "You're Eating Smarter," or Y.E.S., program provides nutrition and ingredient information for the daily menu along with other information on various nutritional topics.

Dietrick has been one of the largest non-military dining halls east of the Mississippi River since its construction in 1970, and this is the second renovation to the dining hall, the first occurring 10 years ago.

Founded in 1872 as a land-grant college, Virginia Tech has grown to become the largest university in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Today, Virginia Tech's eight colleges are dedicated to putting knowledge to work through teaching, research, and outreach activities and to fulfilling its vision to be among the top 30 research universities in the nation. At its 2,600-acre main campus located in Blacksburg and other campus centers in Northern Virginia, Southwest Virginia, Hampton Roads, Richmond, and Roanoke, Virginia Tech enrolls more than 28,000 full- and part-time undergraduate and graduate students from all 50 states and more than 100 countries in 180 academic degree programs.