Gelman Starbucks open 24 hours during test-run

Students can now buy coffee all night long in the heart of campus.

The Starbucks coffee shop located in the ground floor of Gelman Library will be open 24 hours during the week in a 90-day trial period, said Robert Howell, a Starbucks district manager. The store will be the first 24-hour location in D.C.

“I’m very excited,” he said. “We’re going to try it, and our expectation is that it will work out.”

Starbucks began operating 24 hours a day Jan. 14. The store will remain open from Sunday through Thursday nights for a trial period lasting until about mid-April, Howell said. The store will close at 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday nights.

Throughout the trial period store officials will monitor the change and evaluate whether to continue with the extended operating hours past 90 days.

“We’ll assess the situation as we go through,” he said. Specifically, store officials will be examining customer demand and staffing issues.

“We think there is enough student interest,” said Howell, adding that having the location open 24 hours makes some aspects of business operation easier.

In November, Starbucks – which is independently owned and operated from the University – decreased its hours from operating until midnight during the week to closing at 10 p.m. During finals week in mid-December, Starbucks operated 24 hours a day for about a week.

Responding to student concern for late-night coffee, Grounds for Change – a Sodexho-operated coffee shop located in J Street – began a trial period of operating from 10 p.m. to midnight in December. The decision was made partly in response to the Gelman Starbucks’ reduced hours.

Junior Casey Pond, director of the Student Association’s Dining Services Commission, helped push for longer hours at Grounds for Change. He said Starbucks’ additional hours will be both profitable for the store and convenient for students.

“I think it’s a great addition to campus,” Pond said. “Having anything open 24 hours where students can convene will add to campus.”

A University spokesman said the Gelman Library Starbucks moving to 24 hours shows the store was listening to student feedback.

“There was student feedback and reaction, and it’s good that Starbucks looked into it and took into account student feelings,” said Matt Lindsay, assistant director of Media Relations.

Lindsay and Pond said they do not know if any changes will be made to any Sodexho-operated businesses because of Starbucks’ trial 24 hour period.

The Hatchet has disabled comments on our website. Learn more.