The UConn Co-op contracted with UConn Dining Services to operate the Cafe, envisioned as a small-town French bistro. An open-air, 1700 sf, design was desired by all, with free flow of traffic between the two areas. It was quickly decided the Cafe would need its own street entry in order to capture early morning breakfasts, but this created security challenges so the Cafe could operate independently of the bookstore. By putting it along the sloping street, it could be on an elevated slab, so it gets a grand view into the bookstore proper.
This branch of the Uconn Co-op was designed to have the atmosphere of a small town bookstore while still maintainng a connection to the university.
Poetry slams, book release events, book readings, live jazz bands, and many other community based events are planned to be held in the space.
The tenant space is mixed use, divided into a full service bookstore, a small cafe, the Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry (BMP) offices and galleries, a state of the art black box theatre and shared common support areas. The bookstore itself is 8,800 square feet.