The student-run Green Bean Coffee Lounge has undergone several changes in recent months, including the first renovations since its opening in 2009 and shortened hours of operation.
The renovations, which began last October, were spearheaded by last year’s managers and funded by the college. The decision to shorten hours was made by the current Green Bean managers to balance the coffee shop’s profits with the demanding schedules of student employees.
The new chairs and tables are a mix of wood and metal, which, according to Programming and Customer Experience Manager Helena Oldenbourg (junior) will prove to be a worthwhile long-term investment to replace the previous aging furniture. The two tables, long and sleek, occupy less space than did the former four small tables while seating the same number of students. Other renovations include new flooring and a glossy high bar that runs along the back wall.
“At this point, the Green Bean isn’t new anymore, it’s an established part of campus,” Sales Analyst Manager Eddy Perezic (senior) said. “We really wanted to reflect that in its new aesthetic.”
According to returning supervisor Raihana Haynes-Venerable (senior) and barista Georgia Tucker (junior), the back bar and longer tables not only open up space, but also eliminate any exclusiveness that, they feel, was associated with the former smaller tables. Oldenbourg agreed that the back bar provides students with more options, allowing them to work independently if they do not want the social element of the long tables.
The Green Bean’s hours of operations have also changed to close at midnight on weeknights, an hour earlier than in the past. According to Oldenbourg, the management team decided to make closing earlier mostly for the sake of student employees’ academic schedules, which often require an early wake up. She said there was not enough business during the hour between 12 and 1 a.m. to justify the cost to students.
“We want to build a community in terms of our staff,” Oldenbourg said. “We want working at the Green Bean to be fun for our staff, not something that impedes on their academics.”
Tucker and Haynes-Venerable also agree on the benefits of closing at midnight.
“I really like the fact that we close at midnight. The difference between closing and getting out at 1 a.m. versus 2 a.m. is huge,” Tucker said. “Even though we’re technically supposed to be getting out at 12:30 a.m., it usually ends up being later, so changing the hours really makes a big difference in the amount of sleep that we get.”
Students who are aware of the change in hours agree that it is a positive change. Nathalie Brick (junior) acknowledges that the Green Bean staff members are students above employees.
“I think we are providing a great service to the Oxy community,” Haynes-Venerable said. “People are appreciative of the work that we do and are understanding of why we would want to push up our closing time.”
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