Chocolate Bar To Reopen Monday Despite Staffing Shortage

After remaining closed for the last academic year, the Chocolate Bar is set to reopen next Monday, according to Beth Emery, director of BC Dining. 

“We wanted everything open at the beginning of this year but we’ve just been more challenged this year than in past years with recruiting,” Emery said. 

The Chocolate Bar, located on the first floor of Stokes South, is normally staffed mostly by students. BC Dining has hired just 250 out of its typical 800 student employees so far this year, leading to reopening delays in several campus dining locations, Emery said. 

The specialty dining location will be serving Starbucks coffee beverages, bakery items, and grab-and-go options. In addition to its classic menu, Emery said the Chocolate Bar will now also serve sushi, which has been a popular option at the Rat so far this year. 

Though many underclassmen have come to know the Chocolate Bar as a closed-off section of a quiet study area, Annabelle Schultze, MCAS ’22, recalls it as a lively and friendly space before the pandemic. 

“I’m excited for it to be back,” Schultze said. “It has everything you need in between your classes in Stokes.” 

The Chocolate Bar will be open during weekday breakfast and lunch hours and, depending on staff availability, through the evening for students with later classes, according to Emery. 

The next priority for BC Dining will be to reopen CoRo Cafe and the three markets on campus where students can purchase grocery essentials using dining funds, though official dates have not yet been set. 

The openings for these markets—which are located in CoRo Cafe in McElroy Commons, The Market in Corcoran Commons, and Legal Grounds in Stuart Dining Hall—have been delayed due to nationwide supply chain issues caused by the COVID-19 pandemic in addition to BC’s staffing shortages. Despite the delay, BC Dining is working to hit the ground running as soon as it is able to, Emery said.

In addition to specialty Starbucks drinks, CoRo Cafe will also offer a variety of hot food options, including deli sandwiches and New York-style pizza, Emery said. BC Dining is hoping to bring back delivery service for CoRo Cafe several days per week after its success in previous years

Emery also shared upcoming plans to offer GET Mobile ordering at Eagle’s Nest, one of the most popular dining locations on campus. Once this launches, students will be able to pick up select menu items—such as açai bowls and other new additions—at the new sliding window in Eagle’s Nest, Emery said. 

Emery said that all of these initiatives ultimately depend on BC Dining meeting its staffing needs and encouraged students to apply.

“We’re looking for all different types of help … anything from baristas to on-call wait staff for events like Parents’ Weekend and the Commencement and Reunion Weekend,” Emery said.

Featured Image by Aneesa Wermers / Heights Staff

September 21, 2021