Marywood’s Fireplace Lounge Cafe gets revamped for the upcoming semester


Photo credit/ Gabby Ziegler

Construction walls zone off the cafe as it undergoes renovations.

Since the beginning of the Fall 2021 semester, a large black curtain has surrounded the cafe in the upper floor of Nazareth Hall. During the weekend of October 9, wooden construction walls were put up to block off the area.

Many students are curious as to what will happen to the cafe.

The cafe used to sell the usual coffee shop items such as coffee and pastries. It was a place for students to go in between classes, grab some coffee and sit down to chat.

The cafe has been closed since 2017, when Starbucks was introduced in the Learning Commons. Starbucks quickly became a great success, and with more students gravitating towards Starbucks, the cafe in Nazareth was shut down.

Since then, not many people hang out in the Fireplace Lounge. The large room has chairs and tables to sit at, but the space is usually quiet and empty.

Marywood University’s Buildings and Grounds Department saw potential in the large room and open cafe. They felt that the room could be enhanced and used once again for students to hang out.

According to Wendy Yankelitis, director of Buildings and Grounds, the old cafe will turn into a “grab and go,” selling smoothies, milkshakes, sandwiches, salads and more. The idea is for it to be something new and unique from a traditional cafe or a Starbucks.

Yankelitis also says the new grab and go will be run and staffed by Chartwells, the same company that runs Starbucks.

“We are working hard daily to attract staff to work in all of our facilities. Every effort will be made to staff both locations,” said Louis Mazza, the director of Dining Services.

Chartwells has also agreed to pay for some of the improvements in the new cafe area. Reconstruction started at the end of October.

The original plan was to have it open by the end of the fall semester, but Yankelitis felt it should not be rushed.

“The goal is to have it open for the start of the spring semester,” said Yankelitis. “It’ll give students something to look forward to when they come back.”

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