A Starbucks store will be included in the Dobbs replacement dining facility when it opens in fall 2017.
The new location will be similar to the current Starbucks in Memorial Union in that customers will be able to pay with EZ Charge, cash or credit card. It will be connected to the Dobbs replacement, but customers will have to enter through a separate door.
“We knew we wanted to have a coffee presence on that side of campus,” said Michael Wuest, marketing manager for Campus Dining Services. “Our Starbucks at Memorial Union is one of the most successful ones on a college campus anywhere in the country, so we had a lot of good experience with our current Starbucks. So that’s how the decision was made.”
The location will offer a menu similar to the Starbucks in Memorial Union. Campus Dining Services Director Julaine Kiehn said the budget and layout were discussed in a meeting with Starbucks representative on Wednesday, Oct. 14. The location will include a community table with stools around it, Kiehn said.
“We’ve confirmed the general layout,” Kiehn said. “We’re ready to proceed with design documents. And from design documents, then it goes to construction documents. So that’s our next step.”
A major reason CDS looked into licensing a second Starbucks location was student feedback, Kiehn said.
“We were looking at what would customers like,” Kiehn said. “When we asked, when we ran it by RHA or any students, (they said): ‘A second Starbucks store! A second Starbucks store! Over in the Dobbs area!’ And then customer reactions also; any response we’ve gotten when we asked students was positive.”
CDS considered creating their own branded coffee shop for the Dobbs area, similar to Infusion at the Student Center, but Wuest said they eventually decided against it.
“At the end of the day, we realized we had a lot of success with our current Starbucks at Memorial Union,” Wuest said. “So that’s kind of where it came to. We discussed a number of other concepts, but Starbucks was still the best fit.”
Kiehn said CDS used to offer Starbucks coffee at its locations across campus with a “We Proudly Brew Starbucks” label, but they eventually upgraded to a full Starbucks store.
“We couldn’t do the full menu when we were just a ‘We Proudly Brew,’ and (students) wanted the full menu,” Kiehn said. “They wanted the pastries and the breakfast sandwiches and everything that goes with it.”
According to a “Projects in Design” list on an MU Campus Facilities webpage, the base estimated cost, which “includes the finishes, furniture, and equipment for the new Starbucks store in the second building of the Dobbs Replacement project and the update of the current Starbucks store in the Memorial Union,” will be $239,895. Kiehn said the numbers will actually run a little higher, with the Dobbs Starbucks costing around $550,000 to construct and open, and the updates to the Memorial Union store costing around $300,000.
The funding to build the new store and renovate the old one will come primarily from CDS. Because they will be running and staffing the store, they take the sales, minus a royalty paid to Starbucks.
“Campus Dining Services is an auxiliary of the university, so we don’t get any funding,” Wuest said. “All our funding is done through the sales of our dining plans as well as people who come and visit campus or eat on campus … A while back we started a capital development plan, and the capital development plan has funded our projects.”
A residence hall expected to open in fall 2016 is currently being constructed in the Dobbs area. A second residence hall to open in August 2017 will be built on the site of the former Jones Hall, and the new dining facility and Starbucks will be included in that structure, Kiehn said. The current Pavilion at Dobbs dining facility will remain operational until after the new area opens.
The new dining facility will be “somewhat like combining Plaza 900 with the Student Center,” Kiehn said.
There will be six different “concepts,” or small restaurants, and each will be priced a la carte, so students can use their dining plans to purchase items individually.
“It’ll be very similar to how Baja works, or Sabai,” Wuest said. “The items will be priced individually, and then you can use your dining plan, cash or credit to make purchases there.”
According to official CDS Branding Statements, the six concepts will include Legacy Grill, which will serve burgers and hand-cut fries; Tiger Ave Deli, a hot “Philly-style” sandwich shop; Olive & Oil, a Mediterranean and pasta concept; 1+5+3 Salads & Soups, which will also have a vegan option; 1839 Kitchen, which will serve “tasty comforts that warm the soul,” including rotisserie chicken daily; and Truffles, a dessert concept serving cakes, cookies, bagels and smoothies.