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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


New Starbucks location sees grand opening

Amy Johnson
Amy Johnson/ Arizona Daily Wildcat R.J. Mitt, supervisor of the new Starbucks, prepares to cut the ribbon alongside members of the Grand Opening Ceremony on Tuesday, Sept. 17. Attendees included students, Main Library staff and supervisors from the Student Union.

UA students, faculty and staff celebrated the grand opening of a new Starbucks location on campus Tuesday with a ceremonial ribbon cutting, cake and plenty of freebies.

Located directly next to the Main Library, the new Starbucks location is replacing what used to be the Bookend Café.

The decision to replace Bookend Café with a Starbucks was a collaborative one, according to Jason Tolliver, director of the Arizona Student Unions. The decision was made after talks with the Associated Students of the University of Arizona, the Graduate and Professional Student Council, the library administration and through engagement of the campus community via surveys asking what people would like to see in the space.

“Overwhelmingly, they said they would love to see a Starbucks in this venue,” Tolliver said.

Since officially opening a few weeks ago, the new location has already seen a great response from the university community, as well as considerably higher sales than the previous operation, he added.

According to Karen Williams, dean of the University Libraries, the University Libraries and the Arizona Student Unions have had a partnership for a very long time and initially opened Bookend Café together.

“It was very popular, but, in fact, it was popular enough that people realized it was smaller than what we needed,” Williams said.

Since then, people have gravitated toward Starbucks, and this is the next phase in the partnership.

“We’re always trying to stay current with what the students want,” Williams added.

In addition to the grand opening ceremonies, which included free samples of pumpkin scones and pumpkin spice lattes, the Main Library also joined in on the festivities.

From 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., students could participate in several activities inside the library.

“We thought it would be a good opportunity to encourage students to learn more about the resources and services that we have,” said Gabrielle Sykes-Casavant, director of marketing and public relations for University Libraries, “but have it be fun and interactive.”

Activities included creating a “MadLibraries” board – essentially Mad Libs — and a scavenger challenge using the SCVNGR app created for the event.

The grand opening served as an opportunity for the campus community to ask questions and give input on Starbucks’ hours.

“We hope to highlight the successful partnership that the Arizona Student Unions has had with the University Libraries, and what that kind of partnership can produce,” Tolliver said. “We want to share that with the university community to see departments working together for the good of the whole.”

For Cynthia Diaz, a pre-public health freshman, the new Starbucks is convenient.

“I’ll just treat myself with a coffee and a pastry, take a quick break and then go back to studying,” Diaz said.

She said she sees herself using the new Starbucks often this year, especially when it’s time for finals.

“This is such a great location over here,” Williams said, “and we get so many students in the libraries, studying and working on group projects and stuff like that. Why not make it convenient for them to pop out, get a cup of coffee, get something to eat?”

– Follow Alison Dorf @AlisonRaeDorf

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