This month, The Beanjamin — the second student-run cafe on campus — will open its doors as the next dynamic space to study, relax and enjoy a cup of joe or some Instagram-worthy avocado toast.
The Beanjamin, founded as a pilot program last year, will now permanently serve students looking to grab a cup of coffee or avocado toast in Franklin. Subtly situated on the second floor of the main entryway to Franklin, The Beanjamin is a hidden treasure on campus.
“Being at the foot of Science Hill, Franklin is a little more removed from other cafes and food options that students living on Old Campus or in the older colleges enjoy,” said Alexa Stanger ’21, one of the students who helped orchestrate The Beanjamin’s creation. “[T]he lack of good coffee and treats nearby were certainly a factor in opening the cafe, but the founding cafe team also wanted to create a space where students — and not just Franklinites — could work and hang out.”
Due to its relatively new status, the cafe is not yet as well furnished or attended as its Silliman counterpart, The Acorn. However, patrons, such as Franklinite and staff reporter Tiffany Ng ’22, told the News that it compensates for this lack of decor with a sense of community that competes with The Acorn.
“When ‘The Beanjamin’ opened second semester and it was cold, it was a really cozy study space, and a lot of my friends were working there, so it was a really nice place to just go to see friends and do work,” Ng said. “Though [the Beanjamin and the Acorn] are a very similar concept, the community is a bit different, and I go to either place for a different purpose.”
In its three-week launch last school year, The Beanjamin served their signature, customizable avocado toast, and a variety of baked goods made by its very own Franklin baking team, as well as coffee and other drinks. This year, the cafe’s team hopes to do the same.
The baking team’s most popular dessert items included the rocky road, Oreo and chocolate chip brownie bites, as well as lemon poppy seed muffins. However, they are looking to expand the menu to serve “more healthy or vegetarian options,” Stanger told the News in an email.
The Beanjamin will also have an outdoor space, with fairy lights and seating, just as comfortable and modern as its interior, Stanger added. The students running the cafe hope to foster an environment where students can participate in a variety of activities such as “open mic nights, movie streaming nights, quiz nights and Franklin SoCo nights,” she wrote in the email to the News.
Though the launch date has not been finalized, students can look forward to The Beanjamin opening soon. Xiaoying Zheng ’22, a former barista for the cafe, expressed her hopes for how the new study spot will fare in the coming year.
“Silliman has obviously been established for much longer, and they have a lot more options, but ‘The Beanjamin’ is on the rise,” she said. “I hope that this year a lot more people come up here, and I think that Science Hill needed something like this, because it’s just a very nice, chill place to do work and talk to friends.”
Benjamin Franklin College is located at 90 Prospect St.
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