Cabot Café Reopens Following Renovation

Quad-based caffeine addicts can once again get their fix in the basement of Cabot House E entryway at Cabot Café, which re-opened Monday night. The café, which started last spring, has been closed since December for renovations.

In December, the college awarded Jesse J. Kaplan ’13, Cabot Café founder and general manager, and the café’s other student leaders $70,000 for renovations. The café has been under construction since then.

Kaplan said that when planning the renovations, they kept in mind student suggestions collected since their grand opening.

“We used customer feedback to drive most of the things that went into our renovation,” said Kaplan,

The new café features comfortable armchairs, more outlets, student artwork, new food and drinks at lower prices, and behind the scenes changes that have created better working conditions for the café’s employees.

“It’s a complete transformation,” said Cabot Café barista Anna M. Menzel ’15. She added that she appreciates the new sinks where employees can wash dirty equipment. Before the renovations, students working at the café loaded the dirty dishes onto carts and brought them upstairs to be washed,

On Monday night at the official café opening, students lined up at the counter hoping to satisfy their late-night cravings.

“The new drinks are super popular,” Kaplan said. “I think that a lot of them are really fun.”

Along with conventional drinks such as teas, espressos, lattes, and hot chocolates, chalkboards on the face of the counter feature more unique selections.

The new menu is divided into caffeinated beverages known as “Keep-me-ups” and drinks without caffeine known as “Pick-me-ups.”

The “Keep-me-ups” include the “Mocha Loca,” “The Milky Way,” and “The Red Eye.”

Kaplan says he recommends a drink on the “Pick-me-ups” list called “The Cloud 9,” which according to the description is “sure to make any day better.”

Sandhya B. Ghai ’13, said that last year she preferred spending time by the River because of the many food options available.

“In the Quad, it’s so hard, when you’re hungry and studying, to find food,” she said.

Ghai, who lives in Cabot House, said that Cabot Café now gives her a similar option closer to home.

Keeping in mind the concerns of students living in the Quad, Kaplan said that he hopes Cabot Café will be a multi-purpose space for all undergraduates.

“We think it strikes that balance between being a study area and a social space in the quad,” he said.

Cabot House Master Rakesh Khurana said he is pleased that the students have followed through with their vision for the space.

“I feel an immense pride in our students for taking responsibility to make something happen to improve the quality of lives for Cabot students and all the undergraduates,” he said. “I feel really inspired by them.”

—Staff writer Eliza M. Nguyen can be reached at enguyen@college.harvard.edu.

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