Students in the Fisher College of Business won’t have to go far to get their coffee fix Autumn Quarter with the addition of a new café on the first floor of Mason Hall.
Either the Blackwell or University Residences and Dining Services will run the café, which is part of a $6.5 million to $7 million renovation project for Mason, said project leader David Greenberger. He said Dining Services is proposing buying a Starbucks franchise for the café, whereas the Blackwell would serve Starbucks coffee but make its own food.
“There are pros and cons to each. Each of them brings different expertise,” Greenberger said. “Starbucks is obviously tried and true, they have that real brand, and the Blackwell brings a lot of flexibility to the mix.”
Greenberger said this decision will be made within the next two weeks.
The layout of the café includes tables and counters to sit at, and spills over into an area with 25 breakout study rooms, two conference rooms and open lounge spaces. Greenberger said they are hoping to bring a much more vibrant feel to the space.
“It’s nice to bring coffee and food, but the intent really is it’s the energy that’s created,” Greenberger said. “We want that energy to be here and move away from the very traditional ways academic offices and classrooms are designed.”
Some students at the college are excited about having a place much closer to their classes to go for refreshments.
Sara Klinvex, a third-year in marketing, said the café would be nice for students who spend most of their day in the building.
“I always had trouble last quarter finding places to eat,” Klinvex said. “And sometimes I’ll study late so it’ll be nice for whenever I’m studying that I can get coffee there.”
Greenberger said the goal of the first floor is really to encourage collaboration among students.
“This space is really designed for the students and this will be used primarily for the undergraduates,” he said. “Everything is designed for student use.”
Greenberger said he expects the café to open in the beginning of September.
“Having a café here for coffee or something to eat is nice because there’s nothing that’s close,” said Jason Cline, a second-year in finance. “You have to walk somewhere else, and a lot of people spend a lot of time here so it’ll be good.”