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Café closure creates inconvenience for students

<p>Cafe Lux has closed for the spring semester and will reopen this fall.</p>

Cafe Lux has closed for the spring semester and will reopen this fall.

Due to necessary COVID-19 precautions, Miami closed many facilities for the fall and spring semesters. Among these closures was Café Lux, the European-style café located in Armstrong Student Center. While Café Lux will remain closed the rest of this semester, students can look forward to its reopening and updated menu next fall. 

Junior Madison Thompson, an early and middle childhood double major, was surprised to see the café closed this semester. She frequently went to grab a bite to eat between classes or to study. 

“I would say it was one of my favorite places to study on campus,” Thompson said. 

She now goes to the Starbucks at Shriver Center but finds it less convenient due to the long line. 

“I think they tried to do a good job of shifting things around, but I definitely think we need more coffee options on campus,” Thompson said.

Some first-year students, like Gianna Velotta, a studio art major, never got the opportunity to go to Café Lux last semester. 

“[With the shortened hours last semester] I wanted to, but every time me and my friends would go, it was closed by the time we got there,” Velotta said.

Velotta also goes to the Starbucks at Shriver for coffee but finds it troublesome. Although she had never been to Café Lux, Velotta would have liked to see the store come back, if only because of the increased seating it offered. 

“Sometimes when I get to the central part of Armstrong it’s, full,” Velotta said. “I’d like to see Café Lux [return].”

Brent Mason, senior director of food and beverage at Miami, wrote in an email to The Miami Student that the closure of Café Lux was “a business decision that we made recognizing that Starbucks is right across the street for those that wanted a specialty drink.” Mason also said Armstrong has opened Spring Street Market, a new concept that offers coffee in place of Café Lux.

Ri’Ann Yates-Miller, a first-year student who often went to Café Lux last semester, views the closure as untimely because she now goes to Starbucks to get coffee which is more expensive. She does not believe the closure affects Armstrong, as she has not noticed a sudden decrease in students, but she would still like to see the café reopen. 

“I don’t think it was that crucial to the Miami environment,” Yates-Miller said. “I just think it’s a slight inconvenience that I have to now pay a dollar more for coffee.” 

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Students who remember the café pre-pandemic note the convenience of its location. Emily Klein, a sophomore interactive media studies major, said she visited the café about once or twice a week depending on her classes. 

“[Starbucks] is always, like, a really long time,” Klein said. “It’s always a pain to go there. You have to like cut out a section of your day to stand in line.” 

Klein said King Café is out of the way for her, as she lives off-campus and believes many students face a similar issue. 

“If people have classes in Farmer or Laws or the computer-science building, it was just a good, like, middle-point.” 

Although students are frustrated with the temporary closure, it was a necessary safety precaution in slowing the spread of COVID-19. Mason assures students that Café Lux will reopen next semester with an updated menu and social distancing regulations. In the meantime, students can check out Spring Street Market for all their coffee needs.