Kohlberg Coffee Bar Experiments With Saturday Hours

Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.

Thanks to Student Council, the voice of the under-caffeinated student has been heard; Dining Services kept Kohlberg Coffee Bar open last Saturday and will do so again this Saturday to see if it could be profitable in the long run.

According to Council President Peter Gardner, “a big benefit of tabling is that we’ve heard a lot more student ideas, and two major things keep coming up: library closing times and opening the coffee bars on weekends.”

Council came to Director of Dining Services Linda McDougall, who was interested in the idea. She wrote in an e-mail, “we did open in the past on Saturdays, I think it was at least five years ago, and it was not successful so I am anxious to try again.”

The first trial happened this past Saturday, when Kohlberg Coffee Bar was open from 1-5 on Saturday afternoon. Gardner explained that Kohlberg was chosen because it was perceived to be “closer to the dorms and more central.” Since it’s roughly equidistant from McCabe and Cornell, Kohlberg would ideally keep students from all majors caffeinated.

In order for the hours to continue, McDougall says that the coffee bar would have to consistently make $300 on Saturday afternoons to cover the additional labor and utilities. Gusti Ruhri, Cash Operations Manager for Dining Services, reports that Kohlberg did make over $300 last Saturday, but “there were many visitors on campus,” in part because of the CHAS conference.

Kohlberg Coffee Bar will be open again this Saturday from 1-5, and “if it is worth opening,” wrote Linda, “we will continue to do so on Saturdays.” Gardner said that if Saturdays continue to be profitable, “they might even start expanding to Sundays… I think there’s definitely student interest.”

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