Many Lyon College students, myself included, run on two things: caffeine and stress. It is unsurprising, then, that one of the most eagerly anticipated events of this semester was the rebirth of the on-campus coffee shop, The Salty Dog. Nestled conveniently in the corner of the Morrow Academic Center, its central location enables students to pop in to grab a quick order on-the-go between classes or to take a much-needed study break after long hours spent hitting the books. One of the best new features of the coffee house is the large window looking out over the brand-new Schram Memorial Bark Park.
While the Salty Dog is a coffee shop, like so many others it does more than just serve black coffee. From the extremely popular mocha latte and caramel machiatto to the more unusual matcha latte, in the short time since its reopening, the Salty Dog has shown its ability to continually introduce new and exciting drinks while maintaining its quality. Part of the shop’s plans to keep the menu interesting is to offer a wider variety of food in addition to drinks, including pizza and sandwiches. One of the most popular orders is in fact not coffee, but “pupachinos” for the pups who visit the shop with their people.
Another great feature of the new-and-improved Salty Dog is the amazing staff. I was fortunate enough to speak with Cat, the evening barista. Having previously managed a coffee shop in Little Rock, she felt right at home applying her skills at Lyon. Another connection to the Little Rock coffee scene was through the Salty Dog’s former use of Cathead's Dinner cups. This was simply a matter of using available materials at the beginning of the semester in an effort to be eco-friendly, rather than purposeful free advertising for the Cathead's Diner, but when a Salty Dog manager made a visit to the cafe in Little Rock, the shop’s workers were delighted at the “inadvertent advertising” they had received.
The drawings on the sleeves of the coffee cups are a source of mystery and amusement surrounding the Salty Dog. The mastermind behind these drawings is one of the employees, Hunter, who has used his time to draw cartoons varying from simple dog faces to hilariously accurate recreations of Bryan the Dog from the popular cartoon Family Guy.
I have been very pleased with the Salty Dog, and after asking around campus, I have found that most people are in agreement. “It is very good, and I visit a lot while studying in the MAC or before class. I recommend the salted caramel mocha,” says sophomore psychology major Geneva McCaulley. Sophomore computer science major and avid coffee drinker Zach Ward had this to say: “The staff members are nice, and I usually order a white chocolate mocha.” Junior biology and chemistry major Savannah Stull commented, "It is very convenient for a quick caffeine pick-up during test season.” I am sure that we will all enjoy seeing the Salty Dog grow as a part of our campus.