Coffee Connection Re-Opens After Renovations

After a summer renovation, the black floors and cramped passages of the Coffee Connection have given way to hardwood floors, sunlight and lots of open space.

The coffee makers are now on the left side instead of the right, and the window overlooking Mt. Auburn St. has become just a section of the far wall, rather than its defining characteristic.

The popular cafe on the corner of Dunster and Mt. Auburn streets, which can be entered through the Garage mall, closed on July 10 and re-opened on September 8, just in time for the new school year.

The renovations were scheduled after Starbucks Coffee bought the Coffee Connection chain and changed its management in June 1994.

Starbucks kept the name of Coffee Connection because the cafe group has "a very loyal following in Boston," according to assistant manager of the Harvard Square branch, Joe P. Driscoll.


"The store was very old and it was starting to show its age, "Driscoll said. Renovations over the summer entirely altered the set-up and changed the interior decor and fur- niture.

The newly opened cafe is cleaner and brighter, with a somewhat larger seating area, Driscoll said. He said the serving area has been divided into separate bars to serve customers more efficiently.

Amy L. Davis '97, who said she frequented the cafe on Saturday nights last year, was pleased with the changes.

"I think it's a lot more open and a lot nicer aesthetically," Davis said.

The new cafe--which resembles two newly opened Starbucks near Harvard Square--continues to sell Coffee Connection coffee, although other menu items such as pastries and teas are now Starbucks products, as are the T-shirts. The menu and prices are otherwise unchanged.

According to Driscoll, keeping the Coffee Connection name and taste will help the cafe retain its regular clientele, some of whom have visited the place for 20 years.

"Anytime you change, there are people who like the old way better, but we have some very loyal customers," Driscoll said.

"I'll be coming back--the renovations haven't thrown me off," Davis said.

The management hopes that the renovations and improvements will improve business at an already "very busy location," Driscoll said.

Many customers are pleased with the changes and some have called the cafe in the last few days to check if it had re-opened, according to Driscoll.

"I think they did a wonderful job," said Dena R. Greenspan '97. "Maybe it's not as cozy as it used to be, but I come in for the coffee, and I don't think that has changed.