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Pangborn opens cafe in lounge

Irena Zajickova | Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Students desiring a cup of hot chocolate or a mug of coffee to warm up from the winter weather can stop in Notre Dame’s newest South Quad snack stop, the Phoxy Cafe.

The cafe, located in Pangborn’s lobby, offers coffee, hot chocolate, and biscotti Monday and Wednesday from 8 to 10 p.m.

Katie Callison, the Phoxy Cafe’s project coordinator, said that the cafe is just starting and hours may change as well as the variety of snacks offered. Hours are likely to change during the semester as the demand for coffee and snacks increases during stressful times such as midterms and finals week, Callison said.

Callison said Pangborn’s hall staff came up with the idea in November, and most of the planning for the cafe has been completed in recent weeks. The hall staff created the cafe to respond to the wishes of students who wanted hot drinks without trudging through South Bend’s frigid winter weather.

Callison said the cafe organizers eventually want to expand the amount of snacks it offers.

“We will definitely have more variety in the food and drinks we offer if we get a good response. This could mean that we have baked goods such as warm pretzels and fresh cookies, or something like different syrups to accompany the coffee,” Callison said. “I think hot spiced cider would also be a popular option, especially given such cold Notre Dame weather.”

The Phoxy Cafe has received positive feedback so far, she said. The cafe offered two free sample nights, and the girls who attended found the cafe’s atmosphere and decor very pleasant.

Organizers administered surveys during the sample nights to gather ideas that could improve the cafe.

Phoxy Cafe shifts are currently voluntary, as the cafe is still trying to cover its startup costs, Callison said.

However, if the cafe continues its success, Pangborn residents may be able to work there for pay eventually, Callison said.

The cafe’s profits will go toward dorm activities and equipment. Callison suggested an espresso machine, but profits may also be set aside to go to a charitable cause that Pangborn residents support.

Although the cafe’s patrons might be mostly from Pangborn, Callison said that all are welcome.

“I feel like this cafe will be a great way to make the dorm feel more like a home, and that it could serve to connect students of all years and dorms,” Callsion said. “It’s also a great means of setting Pangborn apart from other dorms. We may be that box in the corner, but we are a friendly and sophisticated box.”