stacks cafe

Dining Services to Open New Coffee Shop in O'Shaughnessy-Frey Library

For the first time since the Anderson Student Center opened in 2012, St. Thomas’ Dining Services is opening up a new location.

Stacks Café will take over in the location formerly held by Coffee Bené in the O’Shaughnessy-Frey Library, and will provide not only premium coffee, but also exclusive dining options.

“This is a destination that’s all about that coffee shop experience,” said Pam Peterson, executive director of dining services. “We’re extremely excited to partner with the library on this.”

Stacks will open this Wednesday, Aug. 22 – Aug. 24, with hours from 8 a.m. – 1 p.m., and will be giving out free samples, including of new items such as cinnamon and caramel rolls that will be sold only at this location. Those same hours will be in place until Sept. 4; Stacks will then be open from 7:30 a.m.-7 p.m. during the fall semester.

“We heard from students that they’re here, they’re working, then have to break that up to go elsewhere to eat. Now they can just stay here and sustain themselves,” said Dan Gjelten, director of libraries, referencing the salads, sandwiches and other expanded menu items available at Stacks, which can also be paid for with flex dollars from student meal plans.

Along with A-grade coffee options from new, state-of-the-art equipment, plans are also underway to eventually include draft kombucha and nitro coffee in Stacks’ offerings. With coffee options in the library dating back to 2010, the Stacks will continue a tradition of providing a community gathering place around stimulating ideas.

“The library is the place where new ideas are created. Ideas are synthesized … and there’s this connection between caffeine and scholarship,” Gjelten said. “We’re here because of teaching and learning and scholarship, and that’s what’s special about the library. This is where ideas happen, teaching and learning happens, in a different environment. It’s the third place: not the classroom, not the dorm room, but a neutral place for ideas to grow.”