By Samantha McDaniel/Activities Editor
Eastern sponsored the grand opening of Java Beanery & Bakery’s outdoor café Friday.
Dan Nadler, vice president for student affairs, said the café has been in the plans for a couple of years.
Nadler said this is part of the plan for a pedestrian plaza on campus.
“This is something we’ve been talking about for some time,” Nadler said. “Last spring it went into the planning phase, so I hope it’s well used and enjoyed.”
Cathy Engelkes, director of the Martin Luther King Jr. University Union, said the café will be a good place for students.
“I hope people will go in, get coffee or a drink, or visit the Panther Pantry, or even the Food Court, and come out and have fun,” Engelkes said.
Nadler said many students seem excited about the café.
“People are very excited, we are pleased with the turnout,” Nadler said.
Nadler said he is happy to have the café open for students to use.
“We hope people will get as much use out of it as possible before the weather gets bad, but we will be ready to jump right back in when the weather improves,” Nadler said.
Nadler said he realizes the café will only be used part of the year.
“It’s no doubt that an outdoor café in this part of the country is most frequently used mid- to late fall to late spring and the summer months,” Nadler said.
Englkes said the outside café may be covered eventually, but has not put into action yet.
Kristina Garza, a senior family and consumer sciences major, said she thinks the café is a good environment.
“It’s a nice place to come and talk and hang out with your friends,” Graza said. “In between classes, sitting, grab a cup of coffee and wait for your next class to start.”
Kayla Wagner, a senior physical education major, said the café is a good place to hang out with friends and do homework.
“It’s a great location for students to connect and also an inspirational place to get ideas for assignments,” Wagner said.
Josephine Baik, a junior kinesiology and sports studies major, said she likes the outdoors café because it is on campus.
“Usually I go to Starbucks, they have an outdoor café too, but this is closer,” Baik said.
Engelkes said she thinks the café will be a great place for students.
“Everyone has been really excited and upbeat about it, so really it’s just another meeting place for students and faculty,” Engelkes said.
Samantha McDaniel can be reached at 581-7942 or firstname.lastname@example.org.