On Nov. 8, 2022 a fire broke out in the Barnes & Noble Starbucks Cafe located in the university bookstore. Almost a year later, the cafe is finally up and running.
A small fire that started in the snack bar area led to the replacement of the entire cafe and left students without a place to study and grab coffee on the boulevard.
The store itself was only closed for about a month, faced with supply chain issues, water damage, and merchandise damage.
Cafe employees Paige Willard and Alli Sipple, have been juggling the challenges of reopening.
“They aren’t sending us enough stuff that we need. So we can’t make everything that we offer. A lot of students turn away when we tell them we’re out of stuff,” Sipple said.
Although the cafe offers a vast menu, employees are limited to what they can currently offer.
“Smoothies and coffee-based frappuccinos we can’t make. We can’t shake any of the teas or refreshers. We also can’t do the shaken espresso drinks,” Sipple described.
Fall brings the excitement of flavors such as cinnamon and apple, which students may not be able to enjoy just yet.
“We only have the pumpkin flavor out of the seasonal ones,” Willard explained.
It has been a slow process and slow getting the word out about the cafe.
“It’s not as busy as it usually is, but I think when more students find out it’s opened again, it will pick up,” Willard said.
Although not all menu items are currently available, the cafe is fully functional with new espresso machines, ovens, and sinks.
The reopening of the cafe also supplies students with a place to study.
Gianna Rispoli, a junior public relations major at Rowan, was one of many students affected by the closing of the cafe.
“I was stunned to see my favorite cafe close on campus. It was such an inconvenience. I am so excited it’s back up and running,” Rispoli said.