Bridge Cafe to open above Bender Arena

The student run coffee lounge will replace the bookstore basement

Bridge Cafe to open above Bender Arena

The Bridge Cafe will open on April 3 on the second floor of Bender Arena, replacing the second floor of the campus bookstore. The cafe will operate with limited hours as a student lounge for the remainder of the semester and will expand to a cafe starting in the fall 2017 semester.

The lounge space will be open to students this semester Monday through Friday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and then again 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., with hopes to have more normal hours for finals, says Darcy Frailey, the associate director for facilities and event services at the University Center and Student Activities. Fall semester hours will expand to stay open as late as 2 a.m.

Frailey says he wants the cafe to be used as a community space that student organizations can use however they would like. He hopes to see open mic nights, slam poetry events and other student initiated programming.

“The idea is to have a space that’s community based,” Frailey said.

The space itself is quite large, with seats for 80 people. Large working tables, comfy couches and chairs, and small coffee tables fill the lounge. Tall bookshelves which are currently empty will soon be filled with records, comic books, board games, and books for an exchange program that students are free to enjoy. A television is set up along with a large stage for events.

The University Center plans to run events to promote the opening of the new space during the remainder of the semester. The Bridge Cafe is currently working on its social media pages, where students can find out event information for the remainder of the semester, Frailey said.

The student run coffee and cafe portion of the lounge will operate starting in the Fall 2017 semester, and will be comparable to the Davenport Coffee Lounge with relatively similar menu options, Frailey said.

Any student will be able to apply to work at The Bridge Cafe, though Frailey says they would always prefer to hire those who qualify for the work-study federal program.

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