By Bridget Lenczewski
At the end of the fall semester, Johnnie Java will be closing.
For many years, Johnnie Java served as a thriving coffee shop in the mornings, located at the bottom of the stairs in Sexton. However, with the opening of a new coffee shop, The Schu, in Alcuin Library this year, business has decreased substantially as more and more students choose to visit The Schu instead and potentially due to Johnnie Java’s decreased hours this year.
At the end of the spring 2017 semester, the decision was made that Johnnie Java would not be reopening this fall. However, this changed when the administration made the decision that buses in the morning would not be
stopping by Alcuin Library and instead continue stopping only at Sexton. This decision was made because of the high-level traffic congestion surrounding
Alcuin Library in the mornings, which would have made buses stopping there difficult because buses would have difficulty finding room in nearby parking lots to turn around.
As a result, St. John’s Dining Services decided to keep Johnnie Java open this fall semester for limited hours. On a trial basis, sales analyses of business this semester revealed that most students choose to make the trek to The Schu, regardless of the fact that buses still stop at Sexton every morning.
“Almost since day one since The Schu opened, everybody is going over to The Schu in the morning. It does not really seem to matter that Johnnie Java is open or not. We did not realize the huge amount of traffic that was over there because of [the science buildings],” St. John’s Dining Services Executive Director Doug Klunk said. “So, we agreed to keep Johnnie Java open through the end of the fall term and then we would close it.” The closing, however, has had mixed reaction among students.
“I think it is disappointing that Johnnie Java is closing because it was always a
convenient location to get coffee right outside the Sexton bus stop and in a central location on campus,” senior Rachel Benson said. “While classes are running, the Link always drops off at Sexton, so it does not always make sense to walk all the way to the Schu when I have classes in the Quad.”
This new knowledge prompted St. John’s Dining Services to reevaluate and decide that the space Johnnie Java holds currently could be used for better purposes. Instead of being used for Johnnie Java, the space at the bottom of Sexton will be used as a production area for cold products such as sandwiches and salads.
“If you have been upstairs into Sexton [kitchen], the only production area is right behind the service line and it is a very, very small kitchen,” Klunk said. “As far as the students are concerned, [the space] will be closed. There will be work going on in there, but we are not going to be selling anything out of there. It will make the Schu and Sexton Commons much more efficient and much more effective.”
Due to this change, Sexton Caf will be expanding its hours again, likely until 11 p.m., while Sexton Commons will continue to be open until midnight. All the convenience store items that were available at Johnnie Java will now be available at Sexton Caf. In addition, new punch packages will be available at Sexton when it reopens in January for the Spring 2018 semester.
Looking toward the future, St. John’s Dining Services are considering whether to install an exhaust system in Br. Willie’s Pub, which would allow the Pub to serve real pub-style food, such as the burgers and pizza that are currently available at Sexton. Another possibility being considered for the future is that Sexton Caf will serve make-your-own noodle bowls. Nevertheless, St. John’s Dining Services is constantly looking to improve the dining experience on St. John’s campus, even with Johnnie Java closing.
FEATURE PHOTO BY SIERRA LAMMI • [email protected]
In past years, Johnnie Java has served as a popular place for students to get coffee, but with The Schu, Johnnie Java’s sales have declined to a point of closure at the end of this semester.