When Wesleyan Student Assembly (WSA) Representative Micah Feiring ’11 received administrative approval to put a student-run café on the ground floor of the Allbritton Center, the last person he expected to hear from was Trustee and owner of The Politico Robert Allbritton ’92 himself.

“I was just walking over to meet with the finance department when I received an unexpected call from Robert Allbritton’s office,” Feiring said. “Yes, the same Allbritton who funded the new Allbritton Center.”

Allbritton’s staff informed Feiring that Allbritton had read The Argus article, detailing plans to establish the café and in response wanted to help fund the project. Now Feiring is in the process of drafting a proposal, which will list the funds needed for the café. Feiring plans to submit the proposal to Allbritton next week.

Before Allbritton’s staff contacted Feiring, the WSA had planned to provide the majority of the funding needed to start the café.

“The cafe would have been limited by the WSA’s own budget,” Feiring said. “Mr. Allbritton’s generosity will enable the student-run café to invest in to-of-the-line coffee equipment and help us caffeinate the student body for years to come.”

According to the staff member who contacted Feiring on Allbritton’s behalf, the trustee is invested in helping to fund the café, although the specifics have yet to be determined. Once Allbritton reviews Feiring’s proposal, more information will be available.

In order to get the café up and running, Feiring is working with Alex Bernson ’11 and Sophie Levan ’12, who both have previous experience in the coffee business.

Bernson, who worked as a barista in Portland, Ore. and plans to open a café after graduating, said he has been helping to determine which equipment to purchase and how to set up the café to best serve student needs.

“I definitely give opinions on which espresso machines to buy and which espresso machines not to buy, but also more conceptually about what the space can be,” Bemson said. “We want to make this a great space for students.”

While the amount of funding they will request in the proposal is still up in the air, Bernson already has a vision in mind for the new coffee establishment.

“I’m hoping that once we run all the numbers, we’ll have a basic espresso machine and brewed coffee,” he said.

Bernson added that he hopes the café will serve as a space to promote student endeavors in the future.

“I think right now we’re just focused on making it happen so that we can run with it next year,” he said. “Eventually, we want to have music on the patio and student art on the walls.”

The new café has yet to be named—contact Feiring at mfeiring@wesleyan.edu with ideas.

  • Hearst ’12

    Allbritton reads the Argus? Look out Ezra…