Attention caffeine addicts: no need to smuggle in illegal coffee machines into the dorm rooms. Chris and Al’s is a new campus coffee shop that has the solution to late night caffeine hankerings.
The stand sells coffee, tea and light snacks after the Market Café’s operating hours.
For some students, Chris and Al’s is the long awaited savior from sleepy eyes of planners and procrastinators alike looking to get their study on way after the sun sets.
“There’s no one else on campus with coffee open this late. Crossroads is a very comfortable place to study, and there needs to be a place that provides access to coffee to students who want to study this late,” said Grant Lai, junior exercise and sports science student.
Chris and Al’s is the brainchild of students Christian Simon and Alex Fan, and operates out of Crossroads’ counter, selling the same items from the daytime menu. Their plan was propelled by a request on the Market Café’s suggestion board, and a Foghorn article regarding the lack of late night, on-campus coffee spots.
“USF is all about giving back to the community, and that has inspired us to make a change when we see a need, and at the same time, give back to our peers,” said Fan. “We hope the school can see a reflection of their values in us, support us as we continue, and hopefully make Chris and Al’s a permanent late night coffee source long after we graduate.”
The coffee shop opened on Monday after weeks of developing a business strategy with Student Leadership and Engagement, Associated Students of USF, and the Bon Appétit Management Company.
Simon, a junior English major in the 4+3 law program and Fan, a senior business student and ROTC member, is committed to retaining a high GPA in order to work their nocturnal venture.
Simon and Fan are also in discussion with the USF Bookstore to create a student book fund with Chris and Al’s profits. Under this plan, 20 to 25 percent of the shop’s proceeds will be used toward supplying books to a student in financial need, as decided by Federal Student Aid, and One Stop Enrollment and Financial Services.
Chris and Al’s launch drew in hoards of curious customers in search of a late night caffeine fix — the success attributed to their gung-ho attitudes, and sharp attire of white collars and formal ties.
“Chris and Al are really fun. The café’s atmosphere is entertaining, and it’s because they have great personalities and seem to enjoy what they’re doing,” said Emily Bogden, junior psychology student. “I can understand why there are so many ladies in line tonight. They’re not bad looking.”
Simon and Fan started the shop with no experience in the java world. All they had were two nights of training, one of those nights being opening day. Stephen Davidson, co-manager of Crossroads, assisted the duo on Monday to control long lines, help out with drink orders and ensure the night ran smoothly.
“They’re doing really well for their first night. Just look at how busy they are. There’s a constant cycle of customers. Chris and Al are fast learners,” said Davidson on opening night.
Chris and Al’s is still in its testing phase, and their operating days are still in discussion with Bon Appétit. The shop is open between 7:30 p.m. and midnight, and will be open four nights a week, either between Sunday through Wednesday, or Monday through Thursday.