By Macki Edwards
What used to be the Palace Coffee Shop in the College Union Building at Amarillo College’s Washington Street Campus will soon become a grab-and-go convenience store for students and staff.
AC officials say the new store, which is planned to open in October, will be quicker and more affordable than Palace.
“We understand that students are coming on campus and waiting five minutes for a coffee. Our goal is to make it more efficient for students and staff,” Andrew Flores, the bookstore manager, said. “It would be easier for students to grab their favorite drink from a cooler, get a fountain drink or even tea,” he said.
Palace Coffee closed its AC location in March after college officials agreed to grant the coffee shop an early release from its lease due to lack of business.
The college purchased all of Palace’s remaining equipment and supplies. The new store will offer a variety of fountain drinks and tea for those non-coffee lovers.
There will also be food options such as salads, sandwiches and other quick and easy snacks to pick up for students in a hurry, Flores said.
Flores added that he has been testing out new coffee beans since March to see what students and staff members prefer.
“They say they want a variety,” Flores said. “That is the end goal for all of this is to give the people what they want and have a variety of what everyone likes. We are also hoping to be able to sell 16 ounce cups of coffee for 99 cents,” he said.
College officials say their goal is to create a peaceful location for students to spend time on campus. “We want to keep it a comfortable and mainly quiet setting. The Student Life department has social gatherings in the café, but they are at night,” said Chris Sharp, the vice president of business affairs.
“When COVID runs its course, we are hoping to start serving food,” Sharp said.
Flores said he already knows what he would like to see served on campus. “What I’m pushing for eventually is going to take some construction, but, I would like to see a pizza oven in that space,” said Flores. “We could create any size pizza. Personal size pizza or even big pizzas for June Jazz.”