Baldwin is pretty new and pretty different, so here is my opinion on Albion’s latest renovation.
Pro: Clean Look
No one can deny the new café looks amazing. The open spacing and the neutral colors really sparks an appetite. This could attract future students and help current students have a happier eating period.
Con: Less Seating
It seems there is less seating in the main café than in earlier years. The round tables seem smaller, and the open entryway and circular salad bar seem to take up space that was once seating. How will this affect the rush meal times?
Pro: New Amenities
Baldwin’s kitchen has been completely redone. There is also a new serving layout with modern food stations and a large salad bar. Everything is now high-end and fully functional. This should provide better quality food.
Con: Sad Gluten-free Section
With all the new equipment to help improve Baldwin, the gluten-free section is still pretty sparse. The tiny cereal containers and lack of bread make it pretty hard for a celiac to get a good breakfast.
Pro: Open Booth Seating
The hidden booth area on the side of the café is now a bright, more open space. There are still a few newly refurbished booths for privacy, but also a large bench area with long tables for group seating.
Con: Difficult to Maneuver Breakfast Area
The new cereal area looks great, but it’s very small. Students have to weave through tables to get to the closed off space. The cereal vessels are also smaller, making it seem as though the breakfast rush might not flow smoothly.
Pro: Conveyer Belt at Dish Return
The new dish return area has certainly been upgraded. It is now a tray-free café which will save water, energy and space. It also can help students be more efficient by only taking the flatware they need.
Con: Confusing Compost Area
In the dish return area, there is a compost and trash section. The average person is not going to know compost regulations, both the list and receptacle are small and confusing. This will probably lead to long lines and not well done composting. Through the next semester, students and staff will adjust to new Baldwin. Hopefully all the changes lead to fewer problems, and eating at Albion can always be an enjoyable.
Photo by Hannah Litvan