By Kayla Sutter
ESU is now home to a brand new, full-service Starbucks. The 180 square foot area known as Lower Dansbury, located at the corner of South Green and Normal Street, has been transformed into the well-known chain coffeehouse full of rustic décor and that familiar coffee aroma. Even though the brand new fully functioning Starbucks opened on Monday, a brief welcoming program with remarks and a ribbon cutting ceremony was held on Tuesday, April 25 at 1 p.m.
Seven frenzied baristas worked behind the counter, serving a line of customers that trailed through the store and out the door onto the sidewalk.
“Good things take time, great things take a lot of time, and a lot of patience, and that is exactly what brings us here today. It took a lot of time, a lot of patience, and a lot of work by many people. So we are here to celebrate today,” said Assistant to the Vice President of Student Affairs and ESU Food Service Liaison Nancy Weaver.
“This Starbucks is not only our first new dining venue in five years, its also our first national brand and represents a new direction as we continue to create new, exciting and better spaces for our campus community,” said Vice President for Student Affairs, Doreen Tobin.
“It is bold and striking as you can see form the inside, a very contemporary addition to our campus,” Tobin noted. “Having a Starbucks venue on our campus will create an informal space for our students who may be studying, collaborating and socializing.”
The Starbucks is decorated with the familiar comforting aesthetic, wooden tables and chairs and modern artwork hanging on the walls.
“This is exciting for me, to finally have a bakery. It’s beautiful, it doesn’t look like a regular cafeteria, and its actually very well put up. It’s a great place for students to come grab some coffee on the way to class, to come and study,” said President Marcia G. Welsh.
“I was very impressed, it seems like a cozy little spot to relax or study on campus,” said senior digital media technologies major Adam Walker.
Unlike the Starbucks kiosk that was formerly located in the University Center, this Starbucks coffeehouse is a full-service shop just like any other Starbucks retail venue. It offers the full Starbucks menu, including all of the regular and seasonal specialty drinks, bakery items, hot breakfast items, sandwiches, paninis, Starbucks merchandise and of course, the secret menu.
“The intent of the new Starbucks is to be a convenient location for everyone to pick up a high-end drink or snack if they so choose. We are confident the new addition will be popular among campus constituents and visitors alike,” said Janine D’Esposito, general manager of dining services/Aramark.
The venue also has plenty of lounging chairs, couches, stools, tables and benches for students, faculty and staff to wind down and take a moment to recuperate.
“It is great to finally have Starbucks on campus, I sincerely appreciate all the cooperation from Aramark to make this happen. It really truly is a new collecting place, a new gathering place on our campus,” said Welsh.
“I think the outside of the building brings a unique, yet attractive looking area to the campus, with great coffee and a good staff,” said sophomore communications major Laura Null.
Lower Dansbury has turned into “two very different, but beautiful and functional spaces that will serve our community better, the Starbucks for relaxing and formal social encounters, and the meeting room next door,” Dr. Weaver explained.
The meeting room next door was not ready at the time of the Starbucks opening, and therefore was not being shown off yet.
The student and faculty buzz over this new Starbucks has circulated campus for the last month of construction.
“I’m really excited that they decided to open a fully operational Starbucks. It gives students another place to study that’s a change up from the library and the Union. It looks beautiful and my only complaint is that it didn’t come sooner,” said Caitlin Romich, a senior majoring in communication studies.
“The anticipation and excitement leading up to this day has been surreal. To anticipate this great opening I have heard many students talking about an actual Starbucks right here on our campus. They were thrilled during the wait and now we are thrilled to be at this point,” said member of the Food Service Committee, Paul D’Imperico.
“This project has been in the planning stages for quite awhile and I remember going on tour with the Food Service Committee to anther campus and hearing we are going to have a Starbucks like this Starbucks sometime soon, and that was over two years ago and I know it had been talked about well before this,” explained D’Imperico.
The new Starbucks accepts Starbucks gift cards and coupons as a payment method, unlike the kiosk in the University Center. The kiosk has officially closed, leaving coffee addicts to flock to the new, full sized venue.
“Its very exciting because it opens up so many new possibilities, for you, for our students and faculty and staff,” said Tobin.
That is exactly what this project was about, the students, faculty and staff.
“This project could not have been done without the student voice indicating what they wanted and their support. This Starbucks is a wonderful addition to our campus community,” said Paul.
“This is the first full service location outside of national brands. I think we should all be very proud and supportive of a University that really wants to go out and bring the best for students. This is a really remarkable space right here, I think its something that really enhances our campus,” said Student Senate President Andrew Kissling.
The new Starbucks hours are as following:
For the remainder of the spring semester, Monday through Friday 7:30 a.m. — 8 p.m., and Saturdays and Sundays 10 a.m. — 6 p.m.
During the summer it will be open Monday through Friday 8 a.m. – 1 p.m.
The Starbucks mission is “to inspire and nurture the human spirit— one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time,” but overall, as D’Imperico noted, the new Starbucks “is going to offer a place for when your day is just dragging on and on for another cup of coffee.”
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