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Maplestreet Starbucks opening date pushed back

By Hailey Mallendick, Senior Staff Writer

Students will have to wait a little longer for their coffee fix. Despite initial plans to open a Starbucks Coffee in Maplestreet Station this month, dining services has officially pushed back the open date until spring break at the earliest.

"Rest assured that [Starbucks] is coming soon," said Sally Shephard, the executive manager of Harris, Western and Maple Street dining halls.

While the goal was to open the new Starbucks at the start of the semester, Jon Brubacher, the interim director of dining services, and his team found that more time was required to complete the renovations and prepare for the opening of the store.

"Once we got into the details of what was expected of us from Starbucks we realized we would have to wait," said Brubacher. "Ideally, we would have loved to open [last] Monday, but we are better off to wait."

The store will be complete will a full menu, including all of the Starbucks pastries and specialty drinks.

Starbucks had very specific guidelines that Brubacher and his team had to follow for the training of new base employees, as well as setting up the new store to slightly resemble the one Uptown.

Grant Frericks, Maple Street Station's general manager, said the new staff must undergo a 40-hour training program led specifically by Starbucks. This was another limiting factor for opening the store in January.

"We didn't want to make the new employees come and have to train over winter break," said Brubacher. "We didn't think it was fair."

Since the store is new, an entire new staff is required and Brubacher wanted to allow anyone who was interested in working at Starbucks the opportunity to apply and train without worrying about it over winter break.

"We are building a new staff," said Frericks. "The training will be done over two weeks, which gives the students time to work at other jobs and maintain their classes."

Dining services is currently interviewing people for the positions at Starbucks. They are looking for 25 students to begin the training program soon.

For the training program, Starbucks is sending in its own representative to ensure everything goes smoothly. The district manager will arrive at the beginning of the training program and stay for a full two weeks.

"When [Starbucks] opens, [it] will be fully functional," said Frericks.

"By having the 'real' Starbucks, we will be able to serve everything now," said Brubacher. "The staff will even be in the green aprons, just like Uptown."

Frericks also noted the interior will be similar to the Uptown Starbucks.

"It is around 39 seats, with some comfortable chairs to sit in and some different seating styles," said Frericks.

Starbucks will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Starbucks requires that Miami have the store open for a full twelve hours and be fully functional, which leaves changing and setting the hours to the campus dining staff.

"We are trying to base our hours on the needs of the clientele," said Shepherd.

Brubacher said those hours might change in the future depending on student demand.

"Those are our starting hours. We have some flexibility in the future," Brubacher said. "If we find that there is a demand to be open later, we can be."

Even though the dining staff is getting excited, students on campus are growing increasingly frustrated by the loss of Patisserie and the long wait for Starbucks to take its place.

Sophomore and Maple Street resident Olivia Ryan is annoyed by the absence of a close coffee shop.

"They started this project right after Thanksgiving break and it is really inconvenient, especially since it won't be finished until after spring break," said Ryan.

However, Brubacher and his team anticipate that the store will be well worth the wait and will be popular among students once it arrives.