After years of providing convenient lunch options for students on Science Hill, Kline Biology Tower Café is scheduled to close on Nov. 1. Steep Café — the food option in the new Yale Science Building — has opened as a replacement.
KBT Café is closing as ongoing construction occurs in KBT. Steep will take over all KBT operations, and all employees will transfer to the new café. It has been in a soft opening phase since Oct. 19 but will begin accepting student swipe transfers on Monday, Nov. 4 — the first weekday after KBT Café closes. The new café aims to serve students a variety of healthy options in a modern, welcoming environment. KBT Café opened in 2011 to provide food options on Science Hill.
“Along with the new [Yale Science Building], there was a conceptualized new café to go along with it,” said Yale Hospitality Communications Manager Melissa Roberts.
Steep Café is minutes away from KBT and offers lunch options such as made-to-order sandwiches, soups, salads, blended smoothies and locally baked pastries. To fulfill students’ coffee needs, Steep will offer single-origin coffee roasted on site from Café Femenino, a women’s collective in Peru. As for other drinks, there will be kombucha on tap, cold-pressed juices and other popular beverages. The café also has 24-hour self-checkout vending machines that allow students to purchase a snack or meal at their convenience.
Roberts hopes that students will find a “sense of community” in the newly renovated space. With comfortable seating, floor-to-ceiling windows and study tables, Steep serves as a central hub for students taking classes in the YSB.
“I think it’s about the space itself,” Roberts said. “What we see it as is a place for people to gather together, sort of more of a community-based space that brings people together around food and drink.”
Despite Steep’s debut, some students voiced frustration over KBT Café’s closure. As a prospective biomedical engineering major taking many classes on Science Hill, Sophie Edelstein ’23 said she relied on KBT’s convenience. She noted that she often only has small amounts of time between classes and is worried that Steep will be too crowded to get lunch quickly.
Other students don’t find cafés such as KTB and Steep very necessary in the first place. Alex Lawson ’23 said he prefers to eat at one of the new residential colleges, since he believes the food is better and more worth his meal swipe. The only downside, he noted, is the long lines during the lunch rush.
“Murray and Franklin have the best dining halls on campus, so there is always a long line,” Lawson said. “If you have the time, though, you can get double the food than any of those small $9 sandwiches.”
Four of the six students who spoke with the News saw Steep as a better alternative to the current meal options. Claire St. Peter ’23 said she was excited for the greater assortment of lunch options that are both “healthy and delicious.” She noted that few places on campus offer smoothies, making Steep stand out.
“I am sad for the loss of KBT, but I think overall Steep offers more variety,” St. Peter said. “It will provide a nice contrast to the delicious but predictable dining hall meals.”
Steep will be open from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekdays.
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