By the fall of 2019, a full-service Starbucks coffee house should be operational on the NIU campus. As part of the renovations at the Holmes Student Center (HSC), crews are building out a space for the popular destination coffee shop.
The new business will be serving up mochas, pastries and more from the ground floor of the HSC, close to the south entrance, just off of the MLK Commons.
“The intent is for Starbucks to be complete at the same time as the overall renovation project, which is planned for fall 2019. Too early to say exact dates at this point,” said Belinda Roller, NIU’s assistant director for Architectural and Engineering Services.
For many, the Starbucks shop can’t come soon enough.
The architectural firm heading up the design of the renovated HSC, conducted a survey of students, faculty and staff in 2015-2016, prior to the actual design of the project. They wanted to know what people would like to see inside of the center once renovations were complete.
“Starbucks was the overwhelming choice of the campus community,” said Daniel Koenen, NIU’s executive director of Campus Dining Services.
When the shop opens, it will be run by campus dining, rather than Starbucks corporate, similar to how other Starbucks shops are run on many college campuses across the country, Koenen said.
Since it will be part of campus dining, students will have Starbucks as one of their dining options on campus, meaning they can then use their NIU dining plan and flex dollars to pay for their drinks and food.
Koenen said he believes the coffee shop will be a great addition to NIU and offers a welcome place for students, staff and faculty to gather, eat and drink.
“Starbucks tends to be a destination, meaning people go to Starbucks not only for something to drink but for Starbucks coffee,” Koenen said.
The addition of Starbucks will just be one of many positives that will come out of the renovations of HSC for the NIU community, he added.
He believes all of the changes will be positive and will keep more people on campus, using the HSC and the new dining options.
“I am excited that the renovated space will bring people together,” he said. “Student organizations, student leadership, food locations and a renovated space for people to hang out and relax.
“Starbucks and all of the retail food outlets will be included in the meal plans for residential students next year with the additional meal plans called block plans. The block plans will have meals that are used in the residential dining locations and flex dollars that can be spent in any campus dining location, keeping people on campus. The retail options for all NIU stakeholders were limited in the past. Once the renovation is completed, all members of the campus community will have a variety of locations to visit, keeping them on campus, engaging in conversations and hopefully feel more connected with NIU.”