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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Monday, June 24, 2024

Brown and Brew trims hours

Students looking to Brown and Brew for late-night coffee or a sandwich on the weekend will have to search elsewhere, as the campus café is now closing at 11 p.m. and will no longer be open on Saturdays and Sundays.

Brown and Brew, currently devoid of its familiar couches and coffee table, will soon have new furniture. This will complement menu changes implemented over the summer.

Before this school year, the café typically stayed open until 1 a.m. each day of the week.

Tufts made the weekday timing changes because Brown and Brew was no longer seeing as many customers late at night, Dining Services Director Patti Klos said. She attributed this in part to the success of Hotung Café, which underwent renovations in 2007.

Klos mentioned that Tisch Library's Tower Café is also open late. "Prior to [the construction of] the Tower Café, students leaving the library would stop at Brown and Brew before returning home," she said. With the construction of other late-night spots on campus, Brown and Brew's popularity waned, she said.

But some students expressed frustration with the time changes. Junior Laura Curren, a frequent Brown and Brew patron, used to enjoy the café's long hours. She said the Tower does not offer a comparable environment. "Having [Brown and Brew] open late on weeknights or weekends is a good alternative to going to a party or socializing in a different way. I think it's bad that it's closing [earlier]," she said. "Obviously you have the library for just studying, but for places that can double as a social environment as well, Brown and Brew is the only place I want to sit in."

She added, "The Tower is right next to the library, so I don't go there to socialize. I don't feel bad about talking to my neighbor at Brown and Brew. The Tower is just a study place for me and not a destination like Brown and Brew."

Curren said Brown and Brew fills a distinct and important niche on campus. "I don't feel like Tufts is a school that has that many places to go to be social and do work at the same time and be a community," she said. "I think it's really good that we revamped Hotung, but it has that weird neon-light-and-football vibe. I think that a campus coffee shop is a really important aspect of a college."

Curren added that a lot of students had enjoyed relaxing at Brown and Brew on the weekends. "On weekends, when people don't have classes, you can spend a lot of time there doing homework," she said.

Junior Helen Corless, one of the few people sitting in Brown and Brew at 10:30 on Monday night, was annoyed when she learned her friends would have to leave at 11 p.m. "One of the reasons we came here today was because we thought we would have at least three hours to work," she said.

Klos said Dining Services removed the café's four couches last semester because they were too worn out. Brown and blue armchairs will soon replace the couches. "We were all in agreement that the furniture was old and needed to be replaced," she said. Klos, who was part of a university-wide committee that wrote new fire codes, explained that the furniture in Brown and Brew was purchased before the codes went into effect. Klos said some of the old furniture might have been against the new codes.

The armchairs are expected to arrive this month, according to David Ford, the manager of Brown and Brew.

Corless frequented the café last year when her a capella group, the Jackson Jills, practiced on the second floor of Brown and Brew's Curtis Hall. She said that she was eager for couches to arrive and called Brown and Brew "less friendly" without them.

Nathan Ricci, a fourth-year graduate student, was glad Tufts would supplant the couches. "To be honest, they looked like they needed to be replaced. They were pretty beat up," he said.

A new velour curtain will be installed behind the café's small stage by next week, Ford said. The stage received new carpeting over the summer.

The café also received a new, light-brown paint job this summer.

Klos and Katia Porzecanski, a senior who works at the café, both noted extensive changes to Brown and Brew's menu, including different brands of coffee and ice cream and the addition of a new waffle maker, chili and hot sandwiches. "The main goal is to offer more variety," Klos said.

The café will now offer Pura Vida coffee, which is fair-trade, and Edy's ice cream and new toppings for the ice cream, according to Porzecanski. With the help of the new waffle maker, students can make "waffle and ice cream combos," she said.

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