Students react to Palace closing

Illustration by Daniar Onoz

By Lauren Ebben and Jessika Fulton, Staff Reporters

Palace Coffee is seeking an early end to its contract with Amarillo College, and students say they have mixed emotions. 

Kitawny Molina, a nursing major, said the coffee shop is a popular study spot. 

“It kind of makes me wonder where all the people that go there to study will go,” Molina said. 

Other students agreed, saying they use Palace as a place to hang out and study. 

“I usually meet my friends there, so I’ll be sad to see it leave. Hopefully it’ll be the same atmosphere so I can still chill with my friends in between classes,” Christian Clay, a civil engineering major, said.

According to Mark White, the executive vice president and general counsel, the main struggle for Palace is its location and accessibility.

“Because this coffee shop is located in the center of our campus, we are getting very little neighborhood and/or other city traffic to the coffee shop. Parking is a barrier,” he said. 

The coffee shop has also had low traffic from faculty on campus, according to Russell Lowery-Hart, the AC president. 

“The faculty were the ones that requested the coffee shop and they’re the ones that aren’t using it, so we’ve got to figure out how to engage them,” said Lowery-Hart. 

In January, the shop even changed its hours due to lack of business in late afternoons. 

Some students said they were not bothered by the shop closing. 

Kylie Jennings, a mortuary science major, said she has visited the shop from time to time, but the closing is not that big of a deal.

“It honestly doesn’t affect me a lot. It does concern me for the people who use the space, but AC is such a great school, so I’m sure they have many other places for students to go,” Jennings said.

No decisions have been made on what will replace the coffee shop, but several students said they have ideas.

“Maybe it could be an extension to The Burrow where we could have more activities for students. Maybe a pool table or air hockey would be cool,” Molina said. 

Other students said they are hoping for a similar cafe. 

“AC is always trying to expand so maybe a new AC coffee shop is in the near future,” Jennings said.

Johnny Mize, the vice chair of the board of regents, said he’d like to see the college find a solution.

“We spent a lot of money on making that space,” Mize said. “We want this to be a good venture for both of us.”

The coffee shop will remain on campus until at least May of this year.

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