On Monday morning, University Unions announced that cafés Starbucks and Au Bon Pain would replace Amer’s Mediterranean Deli and the University Club, respectively, at the Michigan Union.

In late April, University Unions announced the final list of tenants that would occupy the Michigan Union’s ground floor court, Michigan Union Grill. While Wendy’s, Subway and Panda Express would continue to serve the Union — with Wendy’s and Subway expanding — Pizza Hut, Mrs. Fields, Freshens and Auntie Anne’s faced expiring leases. Ahmo’s Gyro and Deli would also be moving into the MUG.

Changes hit above ground as well. As the winter semester wound down to a close, so did Amer’s tenancy in the first floor of the Michigan Union. The announcement also marked the close of the University Club, a sit-down restaurant located also on the first floor.

The University Club began operation in 1937, providing students with healthy alternatives to fast food lunch options. In a University press release, Susan Pile, director of the Michigan Union, cited a diminishing customer base and faltering revenues as reasons for the restaurant’s closing.

Pile said she believed that the Club no longer met “the needs of today’s students,” because sit-down lunches did not appeal to the contemporary student lifestyle. Moreover, she noted that the University Club model did not “allow the space to be more used by students,” as the Club space was primarily limited to lunch hours and other selective events.

“We really feel that this is actually going to allow for a much more interactive and engaging kind of space through all hours of the day than we’ve had in the past,” Pile said.

She added that the café would maintain a performance area so programming and events — such as weekly poetry slams and acoustic performances — could continue to take place.

The selection committee for the prospective Union tenants was impressed by Au Bon Pain’s success around other college campuses and their provision of detailed nutritional charts. The Boston chain is known for its fast-service soups, sandwiches and breakfast entrées and its ready-made deli selections.

“That approach fits right in with the values that are important to our community: sustainable practices, a large, varied menu and easy-to-find nutritional information,” Pile said.

Unlike other eateries operating out of the Union, Au Bon Pain will be open through the Union’s hours of operation — till 2 a.m. during the fall and winter semesters. Pile said, based on recent memory, she could not recall another eatery that remained open through the Union’s hours.

LSA senior Adam Kleven, chair of the Michigan Union Board of Representatives, noted that the new cafés were “a positive change” from the student perspective. Despite an anonymous Facebook campaign and efforts to discuss lease extensions, University Unions requested that Amer’s vacate their Union location at the expiration of their lease — after 19 years of service.

“Au Bon Pain wants to ensure student needs are met in terms of food selection and social space,” Kleven said. “Starbucks is undeniably popular and will increase the number of students who come into the Union.”

Architectural renovations will accompany the incoming tenants as they move into the spaces. Though specific details regarding interior changes are unavailable, Pain said the Union would maintain its historic elements — such as its brick walls, arches and windows. Renovations will commence at the end of August.

Starbucks and Au Bon Pain have both signed binding 10-year leases with the University.

Correction appended: A previous version of this article stated that Kleven was a alum when he is actually a student at the University. Also, Kleven is the current chair, not the former chair.

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