By Christy Song, Daily Staff Reporter
Published January 23, 2014
After the Union’s Starbucks opened Monday, students once again have another shop at their disposal.
The Starbucks located on the corner of South State and East Liberty streets reopened Thursday after five weeks of renovations after closing on Dec. 18.
The largest structural change is that the basement is no longer a part of the floor plan. Instead, the store is entirely one level with added open space.
Scott Pelky, the district manager of Starbucks in the greater Detroit area, said in an interview that taking out the basement created more space for students to sit in the café.
“We actually added seats to the store in the newer design that we have now,” Pelky said.
The interior design has been revamped as well. There are more chairs, separate seating areas, modern light fixtures and decorations. Pelky said the new design is supposed to appeal to the local market.
“We added several locally relevant artistic design touches that are Ann Arbor-and University of Michigan-specific,” Pelky said. “Some memorabilia and a map of Ann Arbor are some of the major design features of the store.”
Other changes include the use of a new brewing method called the Clover Brewing System — a new technology that brews one cup of coffee at a time. The coffee maker is the only one of its kind to use a vacuum press technology, functioning like an upside-down coffee press.
Students had mixed feelings about the change of design, specifically the removal of the basement.
LSA freshman Betsy Ojo said she used the basement to study, and LSA freshman Kristen Mikhail said the new design is not as large group-friendly.
“I do like how it’s really open, but I think it’d be nice if there were bigger tables instead of just like a lot of little spots right here because it’s hard to find a spot for multiple people,” Mikhail said.
On the other hand, Music, Theatre & Dance senior Darcy Link approved of the new change.
“I actually really like it,” Link said. “I think that the downstairs was fine, but I like the layout. I get to see everything. I will say that it feels a little less cozy, but they still have comfortable chairs you can sit in and it almost feels like there are a lot more places to sit.”