Late-night study sessions are soon going to become easier for students when they can visit SIUE’s second Starbucks on the first floor of Lovejoy. The new location is expected to open in March.
Before Starbucks began development, SIUE had plans to open a Dunkin’ Donuts in the library instead. As previously reported by The Alestle, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Jeffrey Waple had announced the store in October 2018, but due to cost issues, these plans were abandoned.
“We were approaching a million dollars or so, where this whole project for Starbucks is under $200,000,” Waple said.
He also said it was an easier process due to the university already having a license with Starbucks from establishing a franchise in the MUC.
According to Waple, research has shown the top three places a student visits on a college campus are the university center, the library and the recreational center. While there is food at the Student Fitness Center and the MUC, there are currently no available options at the Lovejoy.
The new location is going to be smaller than the original in the MUC. It will feature the same drinks and pastries, but it won’t have the larger menu that includes sandwiches and wraps. According to Waple, the hours will also be shorter.
“The hours will be different,” Waple said. “We’re playing with them right now, but it will probably be more noon to eight-ish … There’s not a huge library flow at eight in the morning.”
Waple also said there are plans to extend the daily hours the week before finals for students who are studying late.
Because the location is smaller and the hours are shorter, the Lovejoy location will be used as a training site, where new hires will start then move up to working at the MUC.
Freshman musical theater major Ellie Landes of Bloomington, Illinois, an employee at the original location, explained why she thinks this plan will be helpful.
“I think that’s a good idea because there’s a place where you can learn and it’s small and it’s not as stressful, and then you can go to the bigger one,” Landes said. “Yesterday [while] I was working ... I was the only one there for awhile who knew how to make drinks [and] it was really stressful.”
Student reactions to the new Starbucks have been varied, with some voicing appreciation for the addition while others have said it’s not needed.
“It’s unnecessary because going from the library to the MUC is a one-minute walk,” Freshman art major Kacey Hochgraber of Quincy, Illinois, said.
Other students had no issues with the addition.
“I never use Starbucks really ever, but if it’s there and it helps other people, so what?” Senior integrative studies major John Morrison of Burnside, Illinois, said.
Waple said between what’s already available along with Starbucks’ expected opening in March and Skywalk Café reopening this summer, things will be easier on students.
“That gives us a lot of different areas to help support our students,” Waple said.
For now, students can rely on the Starbucks in the MUC for their caffeine fix, open 7 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. on weekdays, as well as Kaldi’s, open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on most weekdays.