Chapel Hill News

Chapel Hill Public Library now offering coffee in pop-up cafes

From staff reports

If you take a look at the comment board at The Chapel Hill Public Library, chances are you’ll see folks asking for a cup of coffee.

Starting Jan. 11, those wishes came true as coffee vendors set up a series of pop-up cafes in the library lobby.

Project Manager and Assistant Library Director Meeghan Rosen says it’s all part of an experiment to find out if a permanent coffee shop at the library could work.

“We frequently get questions about coffee in our comment box and many visitors have remarked that great coffee would be an excellent fit at the Chapel Hill Public Library, so we are testing whether that’s a viable possibility,” she said.

Three local vendors will offer a series of pop-up coffee shops this January and February. Carrboro Coffee Roasters, Coco Bean CoffeeShop, and Market Street Coffee will each set up a temporary cart, counter, or kiosk in the library lobby to sell a selection of their café items for one to two weeks. Library staff will gather data during that time.

Rosen says this experimental approach is meant to test the concept’s feasibility.

“Everyone we have spoken with about this is cautiously optimistic, yet before moving forward, we need to answer basic questions like would it work?, to more complicated ones like what impact would it have on operations?, what would need to happen to move from idea to reality?, and does this improve the experience of library users?”

The menu offerings and prices of the vendors will vary, as will their hours of operation. Detailed menus and schedules will be posted on the library website at chapelhillpubliclibrary.org/coffee.

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