By Christy Song , Daily Staff Reporter
Published January 16, 2014
While Starbucks stores surround Central Campus on State Street and South University, one more will open its doors for a private event Monday at 7 a.m. The grand opening, which will be available for the public, will be Tuesday at 7 a.m.
After months of renovation, including delaying its projected opening date, the Starbucks will join Au Bon Pain as one of the Union’s newest venues.
Starbucks will move into the space formerly occupied by Amer’s Mediterranean Deli, which closed last year after a campaign and bid proposal failed to preserve its Union location.
When the coffee shop opens Monday, it will begin its regular hours of operation: 7 a.m. to 1:30 a.m. Monday through Saturday and 9 a.m. to 1:30 a.m. on Sundays. The extended hours are expected to appeal to students working into the early morning.
Starbucks will offer caffeinated beverages, sandwiches, salads and an assortment of pastries, similar to other locations around campus. The Union location will also accept Blue Bucks.
While businesses in the Union are often competitive, students will be able to use the large common seating area next to Au Bon Pain as well as the limited seating within Starbucks itself.
According to Susan Pile, director of the Michigan Union, the two stores will not view each other as competitors, but will instead aim to work together to create a friendly, relaxing area for students to enjoy.
“We think that they are going to be complementary in what they offer and that together actually provide a lot of great options for our campus community,” Pile said.
LSA senior Alex Abdun-Nabi, chair of the Michigan Union Board of Representatives, said in a statement that the two franchises should create a more welcoming, upbeat spirit in the Union.
“Starbucks is very popular for their specialty and seasonal drinks, and having one at the center of campus in the Michigan Union will be welcomed by many students,” Abdun-Nabi said. “Starbucks will fit well with Au Bon Pain — creating a lively atmosphere on the first floor in the Union.”
Despite the renovations, designers worked to maintain the Union’s historic architecture by preserving the windows, arches and brick walls of the original space, but added minor modifications to mesh with the atmosphere of Starbucks.
These renovations also took longer than initially planned, with the opening date delayed from the initial November launch.
Pile said the new location would bring students together and give them a new location to socialize and study.
“Coffee brings people together and that’s really what the Union is all about,” Pile said. “And so I think we knew all along that it was important to have a coffee shop and Starbucks is that name that students know and love, so it seemed like a natural connection.”
Clarification: A previous version of this article stated that Starbucks will be open to the public Monday. Starbucks will be having a preview day and a soft opening on Monday, and have grand opening for the public Tuesday at 7 a.m.