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McEwen Café reopens after one year of closure

Photo Credit: Erin Mosher

Last year, McEwen Cafe was closed after being open for the fall 2020 semester only. This spring 2022 semester, FSA reopened the café, providing students and faculty a new option to quench their thirst and satisfy their hunger.

“We wanted to get at least that cafe open because it is in the thoroughfare of college. It is the busiest, most traveled intersection especially when it is cold out,” said Darin Schulz, executive director of FSA.

Kaitlyn Marquez, a sophomore music therapy major, said “I am happy to see it open, even though I don’t go there a lot, I had a class in fall 2020 in McEwen and every morning I would get breakfast there at the café.”

Now with this cafe opened, students like Maura Vossler, a sophomore childhood education major, are finding it easier to grab a bite to eat in between classes. “It will be super easy to grab something in between classes because my classes are pretty close together and a cafe is the perfect thing to get me through,” said Vossler. Joey Fuimano, a sophomore music education major, added “It is helpful that [the café] is also in McEwen because I have to go to the library a lot to print.”

McEwen Cafés hours are different from Mason Café, as Mason Café is open earlier and later.

Photo Credit: Erin Mosher

Students are saying they would like to see more nutritional options offered at McEwen Café. Vossler says, “I wish they offered more things like breakfast sausage and egg sandwiches so I could have protein for the day.”

The café does offer healthier and more inclusive options like fresh fruits and vegetables, blueberry muffins, peanut butter and grape/strawberry jelly sandwiches on wheat berry bread, vegan sandwiches, vegan chocolate chip cookies and plenty more.

When the lunch rush happens, or when classes get out, getting to one of the café’s in time can be difficult. Once you get to Starbucks or Tim Horton’s, the lines are already out of the door. Willy C’s seems to battle with long lines as well, especially during the lunch rush.

Joey Fiumano, a sophomore music education major, commented on the wait, “If you are comparing it [McEwen Café] to Willy C’s, I would say it is pretty fast.”

Taken by Erin Mosher

“When Sprout Café closed, we incorporated all of the vegan options into the other cafes,” said Schulz. “We rolled out a couple new vegan options this semester, the most popular one is the Southwest Chickpea salad sandwich on wheat berry bread,” Schulz added. The chickpea sandwich can be found at Willy C’s under the deli category.

McEwen Café is now serving hot foods like spaghetti and meatballs as well which can be heated up at the café per request. You can even purchase a sandwich and ask for it to be heated up on the spot.

If you were on campus at all last semester and traveled your way into either McEwen Hall or the Science Center, you would have noticed a sign on the gates saying they were closed. The main reasons were labor shortages, lower student enrollment and COVID-19.

“The full reason was when COVID-19 happened, we had to close all of the cafes as classes went remote. When we opened back up, enrollment took a significant hit — our numbers were down much more than what we were expecting to be and planning for,” said Schulz.

If you are a student, or part of the non-student union, FSA has many job openings. You can find applications on the FSA website under the “Other” tab and “Employment Opportunities.”

For an update on Tea Rex Cafe, Schulz said, “We are going to see what enrollment numbers look like, and then hopefully, we are in a little bit of a better situation with labor.”

Make sure to make your way to McEwen cafe before the semester ends to treat yourself with hot chocolate, Peet’s Coffee or peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

*This article can originally be found on The Leader, SUNY Fredonia's student-run newspaper.

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