Café pops up at the Isabel

The Juniper Cafe runs the pop-up in the Isabel Bader Centre.
The Juniper Cafe runs the pop-up in the Isabel Bader Centre.

Students’ ongoing concerns over a lack of available food options in or around the Isabel Bader Centre were met with a trial pop-up café in the lobby for the last week of classes.

The café was designed to offer a variety of salads, sandwiches and cookies from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m., and was run by the Juniper Café.

Students aren’t allowed to eat in classrooms and screening spaces at the Isabel, though the building has a kitchen with a fridge and microwave oven, as well as vending machines.

“The ideal is fresh, yummy food, and the greatest demand is at lunchtime, so we’re only going to do it at lunch and we’ll see what happens,” said Tricia Baldwin, director of the Isabel.

Baldwin said there aren’t enough funds to keep the café running on an ongoing basis. She added that she’s working with John Mirski, the Isabel’s facilities manager, to secure a more financially feasible, longer-term option.

“Maybe there’s going to be a demand for coffee and muffins in the morning, so we’ll start with lunch, see what the demand is like, and then go the next step,” Baldwin said.

The hope is that the café will not only fill a demand for food, but also create a more welcoming and sociable atmosphere.

In addition, rather than continuously renewing its liquor permit for concerts and events, the Isabel is also in the process of acquiring a permanent license.

“From the audience’s perspective, there will be no change,” Baldwin said — the liquor will continue to be “event specific”.

Students said they were excited, but conflicted about the execution.

“We definitely need food at the Isabel, but this doesn’t seem like the best option,” said Carly Williams, ArtSci ’17.

“I’m in class from 11-1 and I crave coffee while I am editing projects in the evening.”

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