Starbucks coming; Alumni-Senior Club changing

Author: Ed Cohen

Starbucks was moving into the LaFortune this spring.

The Alumni-Senior Club will grow into a sports bar and restaurant next fall.

And more space is being created on campus and off for students’ social events and meetings.

Starbucks was expected to be open after spring break in the former Alumni Room on the student center’s main floor. The room had been used mainly for studying. In addition to its usual assortment of coffees and other beverages, the location will offer salads and sandwiches.

Elsewhere in LaFortune, plans are all but complete for the Allegro submarine sandwich shop in the basement to become a Sbarro pizza and Italian eatery next fall. And Tomassito’s pizza, on the main floor next to Burger King, is likely to become a Subway.

Plans call for the Alumni-Senior Club, in the parking lot south of the stadium, to close after next football season and reopen in August 2003 as a full-service restaurant with much more space for dancing and shows. An L-shaped addition will increase its size by 50 percent. The current building is about 20 years old and replaced a house.

Often called Senior Bar, the club has functioned primarily as a bar for drinking-age students and alumni purchasing $20 lifetime memberships (sometimes discounted to $10) or anyone else who pays the $2 cover. In recent years students groups also have rented it for all-ages dances and parties.

The name and management structure of the new facility have yet to be determined. It could be a franchised operation like T.G.I. Friday’s or BW-3 Buffalo Wild Wings. Or it could be something of the University’s own creation, said Brian Coughlin ’95, director of student activities.

The changes at both facilities come in response to surveys of students, who have complained for years about the lack of places on and near campus to dance and socialize.

In February Father Mark Poorman, CSC, ’80M.Div., vice president for Student Affairs, also informed student government that the upstairs dining room of the South Dining Hall will be remodeled by next fall to create another space for dances, parties, banquets, performances and meetings. Also, the University has purchased the so-called “Creek House” next to Juday Creek north of campus. After renovation, the small house will be made available to student groups for retreats, team-building activities and similar functions.

Ed Cohen is an associate editor of this magazine.