Bohemian Coffee House gets some competition
If you haven't been to the Cafe yet, you're in for a surprise.
Nestled within the top corner of the Smith Union, the Cafe is a space that has often been ignored. Once crammed with metal tables and bulky computer stations, the area lacked both comfort and spunk. At night it was even difficult to tell if the dimly lit Cafe was open.
But now all these complaints are a thing of the past. Over the summer members of the Dining Service, student management, and local artists joined forces and created a new look for the Cafe.
During the spring semester of this past academic year, the Dining Service Committee discussed how to improve the area. For the aesthetic aspects of the project, director of Dining Service Mary Lou Kennedy approached Art Professor Mark Wethil. Wethli rounded up his team of fellow artists, Bowdoin grads Kyle Durrie and Cassie Jones.
Jasmine Cronin '04, student manager of the Cafe, began planning the endeavor. Student activities, the Smith Union building reserve account, and the Dining Service account all provided the necessary monetary support for the undertaking. By June, the project swung into action.
Wethli, Durrie, and Jones concentrated on three main aspects of the Cafe: the walls, the ceiling fixtures, and the furniture. The group traveled to other local coffee shops, such as Javanet or Starbucks, to study different color schemes.
They eventually decided on yellow and gold, and then painted a mural reminiscent of Cubist works found in Bohemian cafés. The three unified the Cafe with the rest of the building by lightening the colors on the mural's borders. "We wanted the colors to be lighter and less dense as you go out," Durrie explains. "The first view is very satisfying, it immediately draws you in."
The crew of artists then constructed eight new ceiling fixtures.
Made of wood and rice paper, the fixtures give the Cafe an exotic and
According to Mary Lou Kennedy, the Cafe's physical changes are part of an effort to provide "an alternative place" to study or socialize. Now that the space is more open, Cronin hopes to have monthly coffee house performances. She also wants to the Cafe to cultivate a distinctive atmosphere that is separate from the dining halls. New menu items such as sushi, lunch salads, and breakfast sandwiches will be exclusively served at the Cafe. A sound system will also be installed.
An empty wall in the Student Bookstore is another spot that will soon be improved by the talent of Wethli, Durrie, and Jones. In the meantime, students should wander up to the Cafe and admire the changes. With its trendy new menu and welcoming ambiance, Bowdoin now has a coffee house that is sure to attract a crowd.