Lutnick Café reopens after three years with new menu


“I’ve heard all positive reviews,” Bailey Hecht (12) said as she waited outside the Mong Family Café in Lutnick Hall to order a black coffee. The café reopened this Monday after shutting down in 2020 due to COVID.

Dean of Students Michael Dalo communicated students’ interest in having the café reopened to Head of School Dr. Tom Kelly. “It’s something that the Community Council (CC) has been talking about for a while,” Dalo said. “Dr. Kelly shared with me that if the café were to reopen, there would have to be a lot more awareness on part of the student body around trash, garbage, and keeping things clean,” Dalo said. 

Although the CC wasn’t directly involved in the café’s opening, they raised awareness amongst students about cleaning up after themselves by creating a video about being respectful of public spaces. The café is a privilege, but if students cannot handle it, it’s not something they should have, Dalo said.

While Middle Division (MD) students were permitted in the café before the pandemic, they are no longer allowed. “We heard a lot of complaints about the length of the lines and the thinking was that UD students on their way to or from science classes couldn’t access the café since there were so many MD students there,” Head of Upper Division Dr. Jessica Levenstein said. “Since there are no MD classes in Lutnick, it makes sense for the café to be a convenience and privilege just for UD students.”

Senior Director of Dining Service Brenda Cohn created the menu after Kelly told her what items he wanted to offer. “He had his vision for the café,” she said. “I just sourced out the equipment that would meet those expectations.”

The menu was curated to provide healthy options, while also appealing to students’ cravings for sweet treats, Cohn said. “Students love pink lemonade,” she said. “Is that the healthiest beverage? I wouldn’t say so. But it’s not the worst beverage out there either.”

The café currently closes at 3 p.m., but there are plans underway to extend that to 5:30 p.m. to accommodate athletes and afternoon events.