Latté Da! Cafe & Coffee Bar opens 6th location in Lincoln Hall

Now hidden in Lincoln Hall is a treasure.

Step through the doors of the main entrance off the Quad. Walk across the marble floors of the foyer and turn right at the staircase. Now, journey a short distance down the East hallway until the outdoor courtyard comes into view. Descend the steps and walk through the hallway past the glass windows.

The treasure is there, tucked away in an area under the Lincoln Hall Theater: coffee.

With the opening of Latté Da! Cafe & Coffee Bar in Lincoln Hall, students and faculty can now grab a coffee or pick up a cold sandwich or salad at the cafe’s kiosk in between classes and sit at one of the surrounding tables. The cafe opened its sixth Champaign-Urbana location at the beginning of the semester.

“We’re off the beaten path a little bit,” said Lauren Klein, owner of Latté Da!. “So here you kind of have to find us. It’s a little bit more mysterious.”

Although the location is incomplete, the cafe is still open for business. Its official grand opening will take place around Homecoming, Klein said. Some minor construction still needs to be completed, such as putting trim work along the bottom of the walls.

Klein said many people use the cafe’s space to study and pass time between classes.

She said the reaction from students and faculty has been positive.

“Everyone seems really excited that we’re here,” Klein said. “Especially the faculty. I know they’ve been waiting to get a cup of coffee.”

Although the new location offers many of the same menu items as its other locations, Klein said it will expand for the grand opening. More hot food, such as soups, grilled paninis and toasted bagels will be available.

The cafe, which is a vendor of the Illini Union food court, was originally meant to open with last year’s re-opening of Lincoln Hall, but was pushed back due to other reconstruction projects. Lori Holmes, retail service coordinator for the Illini Union, said that the idea for the cafe was supported by students who were requesting to have a food and beverage options in Lincoln Hall.

“We had the opportunity to provide additional services to the students in places they had identified, and that’s why we’re here,” Holmes said.

Klein said the cafe is open on Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Karyna can be reached at [email protected]