With the new academic year came numerous new changes to the Lyon College campus, one change being The Salty Dog coffee shop. It is located inside the Morrow building and operated by Sodexo. The Salty Dog, named so because of the new paint color inside the Morrow building, was a gift by the graduating class of 2017. Intended to be open and serving coffee to bleary-eyed students before the Lyon Den opened, people seemed excited for the grand opening of the Salty Dog. It was supposed to be modeled after the popular Starbucks Coffee kiosks, but did it meet its hyped-up expectations?
Based on initial reactions, it seems like the long-awaited coffee shop did meet expectations, but with a few understandable struggles. New businesses always have a few hiccups during the first few weeks of operation before they settle into a rhythm, so it is understandable and excusable, according to several students. After a three-week adjustment period, from their original opening date of August 21st, students stated that the coffee shop disappointed them in execution: long wait times despite short lines, cold coffee in the carafes, technical difficulties, overpricing, and even incorrect orders were among the complaints given.
One student stated that after ordering a large latte, a quarter of it was filled with just foam. Another student took issue with the fact that for two days, back-to-back, the coffee in the carafe was cold when it should be hot, indicating that the coffee was not being rotated out for fresh coffee. Several others were of the opinion that if they were going to be paying Starbucks prices then at least the coffee could be better. While some opinions veered towards negative, others had significantly kinder things to say. I personally like their cream cheese pastries. One student stated that she is glad to have a coffee shop so close to where she tutors and that the service is great: "I love that I never have to wait in a long line for coffee." Others loved it for the close access for a pick-me-up without having to run over to the Lyon Den between classes. One faculty member, however, mentioned that he did not frequent The Salty Dog because it took them so long to accept credit and debit cards. He reasoned that he rarely carries cash with him because it takes up too much room in his wallet. This seemed to be another reason for the low attendance rates for the new coffee shop: the payment system. For over a month after its original opening date, The Salty Dog took cash exclusively. Cash is a thing that many college students rarely carry on their person. It took a month before credit and debit cards were accepted and another week after that before Flex Dollars were accepted. This seemed to settle poorly with a good chunk of the Lyon community. These opinions, however, seem to be the outliers for most of the people surveyed. The great emotional reaction to The Salty Dog seemed to be, "It's okay, I don't really go because I can brew my own coffee for cheaper." That was the most overwhelming response received from students and even a few faculty members. They can do it cheaper, in less time, and in the comfort of their own living quarters. Some students stated that it was great for when they wanted specialty coffee, but if they wanted just regular coffee then they could make it themselves.
Despite the bumps in the road on their start-up, we here at The Highlander wish The Salty Dog all the best. So be sure to stop by and check it out for yourself!