Isabelle Groenewegen is a staff writer for The Hoya.
Three weeks after the start of the fall semester, the new Uncommon Grounds coffee shop has yet to reopen in its new Leavey Center location.
Originally scheduled for Wednesday, the reopening of the Students of Georgetown, Inc. cafe is on hold due to delayed health inspections, but tentatively planned for next week, according to UG General Manager Will Elia.
“All new restaurants require approval from the Department of Health prior to opening. The DOH has a 72-hour window to complete their inspection. While we are confident that UG will pass with flying colors, we are unsure when exactly the DOH will arrive. However, we’re extremely hopeful that we’ll be open and serving great coffee by next week,” Elia said.
The new UG is opening on the second floor of the Barnes & Noble university bookstore, after 23 years in the original location, Sellinger Lounge. When UG opens, it will be the first student-run coffee shop located in a Barnes & Noble bookstore.
Elia said the new location, accessible from the Leavey Esplanade, will be a comfortable space for student life.
“We now have a new, spacious setting where we can showcase Georgetown talent through our Uncommon Sounds open mic nights and other art events,” he said. “Having a coffee shop on the esplanade is also a great convenience for medical students, students coming from Yates and people who want to spend some time relaxing outside.”
However, some UG employees expressed concern that the new location may be harder to reach. UG employee Jared Lim (SFS ’19) said the previous location was convenient and centrally located.
“Our huge value last year was our location and the ambience we had, it kind of felt like we were the center of arts — at least on this part of campus,” Lim said. “We’re going to have to put a lot of work into marketing and making sure people make the trek upstairs to get coffee.”
UG employee Louis Mulamula (MSB ’19) said the shop will have to draw students out of their old routines to go up to the esplanade, but the new location offers exciting new possibilities.
“I think it is going to be a great opportunity to expand. We need to try and change people’s habits because we have a great view of the esplanade and we have to take advantage of that,” Mulamula said.
The Corp is banking on the new UG’s success, as the company is now facing the cost of implementing its new Wi-Fi network. All campus organizations that accept credit card payment were forced off the university’s Wi-Fi network last spring due to insufficient security for banking transactions.
Elia said he is confident students will not be disappointed with the new UG.
“People will see that everything they loved about UG is still present in the new space — great music, quality drinks and friendly service. That, along with a few new equipment upgrades, will make for a seamless transition for our customers,” Elia said.