Students run Bevier Cafe coffee shops

Rachelle de la Cruz, senior in ACES, cleans at Bevier Cafe Too on Tuesday. The cafe serves coffee and other drinks, as well as sandwiches. Erica Magda

Rachelle de la Cruz, senior in ACES, cleans at Bevier Cafe Too on Tuesday. The cafe serves coffee and other drinks, as well as sandwiches. Erica Magda

By Vince Dixon

Walk east of the Undergraduate Library, behind the Observatory and past the snow covered Morrow Plots, and what do you see? Perhaps a few orange, green and yellow blob-like sculptures guarding the west entrance of the Institute for Genomic Biology building. But take a closer look, beneath the ground and through a few tinted windows and what you’ll find is one of the University’s tastiest secrets.

It’s called the Bevier Cafe Too, the original Bevier Cafe’s new satellite location. This café, which opened last April, is more relaxed than its older counterpart.

Heather Lanuti, sophomore in ACES and Too barista, said the café is another alternative for students to get coffee and is also a good place to study.

Lanuti said that she, like most of the shop’s workers, is an ACES student who works at Too to gain purchasing and retail experience. She said that the hands-on experience helps ACES students to better understand the industry.

Yvette Ledent, the shop’s manager and event coordinator for Bevier Hall, agreed.

“Most of (the workers) are in the hospitality program or dietary program,” Ledent said, adding that, unlike the Bevier Cafe, Too is not a part of the ACES curriculum. “In the future, it would be nice if it could be a part of the rotations of the classes.”

Ledent said that though the Bevier Cafe Too is underground and is only marked by a small sign above the entrance’s steps, the café is not hard to find. She said it also receives good business.

“(Customers) know it’s students who run it and we are a little cheaper than the other cafés,” Ledent added.

She said that due to the lack of working electrical outlets and space, Bevier Too does not have a kitchen, but offers a variety of coffee, soups, sandwiches and baked goods. The goods are baked in a small oven and the students make the sandwiches by hand.

Customers can also “build their own sandwich” using a list of meats, cheeses and breads or mix and match sandwiches with soups. It is food made in a “have it your way” fashion, as customers are also asked what toppings and condiments they prefer during the process.

The sandwiches are fresh and appetizing, and the cafe’s coffee selection is also appealing.

Lanuti said that the coffee is imported locally from Galesburg, Ill. and has a fresher taste.

Shanna Wilcox, senior in LAS, said she studies in the cafe at least once a week and thinks that the coffee is “pretty damn good.” She also added that she likes that Bevier Cafe Too offers more flavors than the original Bevier Cafe.

“I like coming here and studying,” she said. “Their coffee is good and the food looks good.”

Though the food selections are tasty, the new cafe can improve it’s decor and space, which Lanuti said the shop will do someday.

The large shop is not fully utilized. The rows of tables begin near the long line of customers who don’t mind coughing over or leaning on your table as they wait.

The shop is also not as intimate as most common cafes. It is bright and lacks color, paintings and other decoration. It causes this delicious coffee shop to give off more of a hospital cafeteria feel rather than an enticing cafe.

Though, customers do not seem to mind. The Too staff said many of its customers are Genomic Building workers, staff and students who use the cafe during short breaks.

In the summer, the outdoor seating may also help. Still, the friendly student service, quiet mood and low key location are worth a visit; a visit that helps ACES students gain expertise in their desired careers while giving back to the campus.

“(Profits) help our department rather than a corporation,” Lanuti said. “It puts money back into the campus.”

The Bevier Cafe Too is open Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Visit beviercafe.uiuc.edu/cafe_too.html for menus and more information.