UT opens new coffee options on campus

Claire Stevens

Two new coffee shops are replacing the Starbucks stores on campus this semester, according to a director at University Unions.

Longhorn Coffee Co. opened at the beginning of this semester in the William C. Powers, Jr. Student Activity Center, and the Union Coffee House will open next week in the Texas Union, said David Anthony, director of business services for University Unions. Both coffee shops replace the licensed Starbucks stores that were in the locations previously but will still offer some nonseasonal Starbucks beverages, he said.

The two new coffee shops offer new food options such as wraps, salads and sushi, Anthony said. The stores also accept Dine In Dollars, a part of UT’s meal plans.

“We're really excited about that,” Anthony said. “It's going to open up a lot of additional flexibility to students.”

University Housing and Dining and University Unions began overseeing food options at the Texas Union and WCP after the previous food service provider canceled their contract with the University in December. 

UT’s changes to food options are based on responses to a survey about what food options students wanted on campus, Anthony said.

“We're doing our best to address the feedback that students gave us, to be responsive to that,” Anthony said.

Longhorn Coffee Co. is closed on Saturdays and Sundays but will expand its hours until 5 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays and 3 p.m. on Fridays next week, Anthony said.

UHD is also looking to expand its coffee offerings in on-campus convenience stores and in dining halls, said Erich Geiger, senior director of dining and catering.

“(People) still like their Starbucks,” Geiger said. “But how do we also align with contributing to the local economy? And how do we make sure that we're aligning with sustainability and fair trade?”

UHD held a series of coffee tastings with potential new vendors to get student feedback the week of Feb. 8 and plans to host more in the future.

Mathematics freshman Sydney Suthar said she relies on the options available on her meal plan. She said while more options would be nice, she has what she needs.

“I think I find pretty much everything I need there, and if I need something not in the dining halls, Cypress Bend also has a convenience store, and it's easy just to pop down there and grab something,” Suthar said.