Starbucks closes earlier with no plans to increase hours

Students may have noticed that they can’t get a latte as late as they used to.

The Starbucks in Gelman library used to stay open until 11 p.m. or midnight. As of the last week in September, the location has been operating from 5:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. during the week, and from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. on weekends. Starbucks’ corporate office has made no indication that it plans to change the Gelman library location’s hours in the near future.

Carter Bentzel, a Starbucks regional marketing manager for the Mid-Atlantic region, said that operating hours for a particular Starbucks depend on the customer flow in that venue compared to other locations.

Starbucks District Manager for D.C. Robert Howell determines the hours for a set of stores in the area, including the corporation’s Gelman library location, and both Bentzel and Howell said that the hours are continually subject to change.

“The hours have changed (at the Gelman location) due to customer demand,” Bentzel said.

Many students that form the long lines seen nearly every morning and night at the Starbucks’ Gelman library location disagree.

“I’ve been here at 10 p.m., and seen students being turned away at the door when they want coffee and they close,” sophomore Sivangi Lohia said.

“It’s ridiculous that there is no place on campus to get a cup of coffee late at night,” she said. The 24-hour 7-11 in Mitchell Hall does serve coffee.

Lines were not as long last year because another Starbucks was located across the street in the Marvin Center. That location was closed when Marvin Center food venues were renovated over the summer.

Bentzel also attributed the shift in hours at the Gelman Starbucks to the approaching holiday season.

“In terms of when the holidays come in, overall less people are coming in (to Starbucks),” he said. “People start going on vacation.”

“This is not to say we won’t be changing the hours back. We need to meet the needs of Starbucks business and the customers.”

Matt Lindsay, assistant director of Media Relations at GW, said that University employees are in contact with Howell, and will incorporate student feedback into future plans.

“Folks at the University work with vendors, but sometimes it is students who raise concerns (first) … that’s why student feedback is very, very important,” Lindsay said. “The University certainly does want to hear that and does communicate to vendors.”

The Starbucks on the corner of 20th and E streets is open for even fewer hours – from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

-Brandon Butler and David Ceasar contributed to this report.

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