The Bridge Cafe opens coffee bar to students Tuesday
Cafe celebrates grand opening of full-service coffee shop
At 7:30 a.m. on Tuesday, The Bridge Cafe opened its full-service coffee bar for the first time ever, though the space has been open since April 3. The space and the accompanying cafe show promise as students gather in the open, cozy atmosphere. The music, the baristas, the rustic furniture and the old yearbooks scattered around all add to the relaxed vibe.
The space, located on the second floor of Bender and accessible by the elevator, is envisioned as a student center for students to study, hang out and relax. Since then, the cafe has held open mic nights, slam poetry events and DJ’s for a mid-afternoon pick-me-up. Future events, like a concert by the AU Jazz Band, can be seen on the cafe’s Facebook page.
The Bridge also played a major role in responding to last May’s hate crime. In a week of high stress with finals and tension after bananas were found hung around campus in string tied like nooses, The Bridge was named a sanctuary space after student protesters demanded a space for students of color.
The already busy social hub’s latest addition, the coffee bar, is open for business from 7:30 a.m. to midnight seven days a week. The games, record player and Xbox are all still available from last semester.
According to Darcy Frailey, the associate director of facilities and event services, The Bridge Cafe aims to have plenty of space for students to study with a chill vibe, to be open for long hours and to be financially self-sufficient. The cafe has partnered with Compass Coffee and Bethesda Bagels to provide the coffee and food.
Frailey said the cafe is inspired by coffeeshops like Tryst, Kramerbooks and Afterwords Cafe, Smash Records and the Dav and he hopes spaces like it will become more prevalent all over campus. He also said that The Bridge is not looking to open a second location.
Just like the Dav, barista positions are already full for the semester, but openings will be posted on the AU student jobs portal as they become available. Josh King, a part time manager at The Bridge, said the cafe looked for a “good team and a good foundation” to start the year strong.
“We want the space to be open to everyone always,” Frailey said.
Frailey, King and David Gonzalez, a part time manager at The Bridge, each emphasized they want the space to reflect the needs of students and are open to suggestions. Events will be open to all students. According to its employees, The Bridge will always have a seat open for students to relax with a cup of coffee and hang out with friends, or do work at the tables by the windows equipped with electronic outlets.
Correction: This article previously listed The Bridge Cafe's hours as 7 a.m. to midnight. The cafe opens at 7:30 a.m.