By Daniel Goodson
When the $11.6 million student center opens next fall, Molly’s CafÃ©, one of the College’s two dining options, will also relocate to the new site. The cafÃ© will receive a new name and menu in addition to the change in location.
According to Mark Stamper, director of food services at Flagler College, the cafÃ© will be a “food court-style concept” with separate deli, grill and Starbuck’s coffee stations. The center of the shop will also have a section of convenience store items.
One major complaint of many students who live on campus is Molly’s is only open during the week and only until 2 p.m. on Fridays. A survey conducted outside of Kenan Hall Jan. 15 and 16 listed a few possible hours of operation changes for the cafÃ©, including a 24-hour, seven-days-a-week schedule. While Dean of Student Services Daniel Stewart admits that this schedule would be optimal, he concedes that the new cafÃ© “has not been set as far as hours at this point.”
Stewart also said the new cafÃ© will be open on the weekends, unlike Molly’s. Although weekend hours have been attempted with poor revenues at Molly’s in the past, Stewart explains that an increase in weekend activities will help keep students on campus when the new center is open.
While these changes might sound great for Flagler residents, finding students willing to work these extended hours might be a challenge. Every semester Molly’s night manager Susan Williams struggles to find students willing to work closing shifts during the week, which frequently extends to 11:30 p.m. or later.
On-campus residents Kristen Greeno and Lisa Klimovskaia agree that 24-hour service at Molly’s would be unnecessary and impractical for student workers. “Students work at Molly’s. How can they be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week?” Klimovskaia said. However, both agreed that Saturday and Sunday hours would be a welcome change, especially since dining hall meals on the weekends often consist of leftovers.
Molly’s allows students to make much needed cash for books and school supplies. Flagler junior Wayne Beck said, “Molly’s was convenient because it’s right on campus and a lot of students don’t think about working there.”
Stewart said all current employees of the cafÃ© will transfer to the new building when it opens in the fall. In addition, it is probable that Flagler will have to hire more “full-time, core employees” to support the expanded eatery, Stamper said.
Security issues about the relocation of the new student center have also been raised. But according to Director of Security Al Howard, those concerns are unnecessary.
Howard said the building will be thoroughly monitored. There will be cameras on all four corners of the building with additional cameras on the first floor. The security desk will be at the foot of the main staircase as students enter and the interior will be accessible only through swiping a valid Flagler ID. The main entrance of the building will be on Sevilla St. rather than King St., which will help keep out non-students and non-faculty.
Despite concerns about the success of the new cafÃ©, Stewart anticipates that the new student center and dining option will help re-vitalize on-campus living.
“The building itself will generate a lot of excitement and we’re going to ride that as long as we can,” he said.