Written by:Mirella Barrera-Betancourt
Campus Dining’s The Press café is set to resume operations during the second week of winter term, according to Director of Campus Dining, Albert Worotikan.
The Press, a coffee shop located on the left side of the first floor of Hamersly Library, was shut down in 2020 due to the COVID pandemic — a time where social distancing, mask mandates and safety regulations were heavily prioritized. For nearly three years, the café had remained an isolated island in the Hamersly Library.
Similar to Caffé Allegro, which is located across from the Wolfstore on the second floor of the Werner University Center, The Press will function as a “proudly serving” Starbucks foodservice. This means that The Press will not accept Starbucks credit or the chain’s official foodservice app.
Western has formed a rocky history with campus coffee shops over the last few years.
In February 2021, Campus Dining opened a new coffee shop in the backstage area of Valsetz Dining Hall to cater to students’ caffeine needs, after Caffé Allegro was opened and promptly reclosed due to low traffic. However, regardless of its popularity, Valsetz Café was shut down less than a year later.
Shortly after Caffé Allegro’s reopening in late 2021, Western began to observe student displeasure over the lack of timely and available coffee shops on campus. Caffé Allegro — although located at the heart of campus — ran on limited hours, closing at 2 p.m.
To make up for the demand for afternoon coffee, The Press’s hours will run consecutively to Caffé Allegro’s.
The Press will be open Monday through Friday, 2 p.m. – 7 p.m. while Caffé Allegro will continue to remain open and run Monday through Friday, 8:30 p.m. – 2 p.m. However, there is a catch.
According to Worotikan, much of the equipment needed to make the high quality Starbucks beverages were not covered by Western’s budget. This includes the appliances needed to make blended drinks. Until further notice, The Press will only serve hot drinks. Though, students will still have the option to purchase snacks from the grab-and-go display.
In preparation for the coffee shop’s reopening, barista training for both new and long-time employees began the first Tuesday of the term, led by Starbucks representative and operations manager, Reid Van Ness.
Campus Dining will also begin offering DaxBot delivery services and mobile ordering for Caffé Allegro the second week of the term. Although Caffé Allegro’s mobile menu is limited, individuals will have the option to choose from classic Starbucks drinks, such as blended beverages and iced refreshers.
As a reminder, students must have an active meal plan or Wolf Bonus account in order to place an order for DaxBot delivery.
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