As students settle back into the rigor of academic life, one upcoming late-night option may provide a helpful resource to those seeking an extra boost. A student-run café, which Wesleyan Student Assembly (WSA) President Micah Feiring ’11 had initially hoped to open in time for finals week last year, is now set to open in early October in the basement of the Allbritton Center.

“Our goal is to get students as caffeinated as they want to be as cheaply as they can without relying on sustained student funding,” said Alex Bernson ’11, who will bring six years of coffee shop experience to his position as Café Manager.

The café will provide free drip coffee from 9 p.m. until 1 a.m. every night. All coffee machines have arrived and been installed, and Feiring, Bernson and business manager Sophie Levan ’12 are currently in the process of hiring and training students as café employees, a task that has proven easier than anticipated, according to Bernson.

“People are really into it,” he said.

Once the hiring process is complete, the three believe the café will be ready to open.

Feiring, Bernson and Levan intend for the café to be more than just a source of inexpensive coffee. They also hope to use it as an outlet for various other types of student expression.

Bernson said that he hopes the café will be “a creative outlet for students in every way possible.” He plans to decorate the café with student art, create an open microphone night, and allow students to gain real life business experience by overseeing the day-to-day operations.

Levan also hopes to make the café environmentally sustainable.

“My baby right now is to try to bring in local milk,” she said.

On top of that, the three want to compost grounds and cups, as well as offer incentives to those who bring their own coffee mugs.

Feiring began to envision a student-run café on campus last year, as a space that would allow students to study comfortably past 9 p.m. After bringing on Bernson and Levan, his ideas were transformed into a reality when Trustee Robert Allbritton ’92, founder of Politico, contacted Feiring and offered to donate $8,350 for start-up capital expenses such as coffee machines and furniture.

With funding, machinery and staff soon to be set, one of the only things the café is still missing is a name.

In keeping with the café’s mission, the founders are asking Wesleyan students for suggestions, which can be e-mailed to the WSA at

  • ’92

    MR. Allbritton is class of ’92, not ’95