VCU Business Services unveils bigger, better Starbucks

The space, located on the first floor of Cabell Library, is more than double the size of the original

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Virginia Commonwealth University Business Services opened the doors to its completely redesigned Starbucks in Cabell Library today.

The 3,400-square-foot interior — more than double the size of the original 1,600-square-foot space — features reclaimed wood paneling, a bakery display case and a one-of-a-kind barista counter with exposed tree bark. A larger service line, three espresso machines and three blenders will significantly decrease wait time for customers, and with seating for more than 120 guests, the Starbucks has plenty of room for community meetups and study sessions. With large open archways leading out into the library, the Starbucks was designed to flow seamlessly with the architecture of Cabell’s new facade.

“It’s been exciting to collaborate with the library, Aramark and Starbucks corporate on the Starbucks redesign,” said Diane Reynolds, assistant vice president of VCU Business Services. “Having grown to be one of the most highly visited dining locations at VCU, we envisioned creating a Starbucks that would better serve VCU students, faculty and staff, whether they’re looking to grab and go or to meet and collaborate with colleagues or students on projects.”

At no point during renovations did the original Cabell Starbucks location close its doors to customers. Instead, the Starbucks was carefully planned to undergo renovations in stages: First, design and build the expansion, and second, open the new space while the old space was still undergoing updates. The final phase will include renovation of the former store for expanded adjoined seating. The new space, which has been under construction since November 2015, is accessible through the new entrance of the library.

The first coffee shop in Cabell opened in September 2003 as Java 901, serving coffee under the “We proudly brew” Starbucks program. In March 2007, VCU Business Services converted the cafe to a fully licensed Starbucks, and today the Cabell Starbucks averages 13,000 transactions per week.

The Starbucks in Cabell Library is open Monday to Thursday, 7 a.m.–2 a.m.; Friday 7 a.m.–4 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m.–6 p.m.; and Sunday, 11 a.m.–11 p.m.