Fairchild-Martindale Library reopened its bottom floor cafe, The Grind, on April 28. The dining location had been closed for the spring semester due to COVID-19. (Brianna Banful/B&W Staff)

With three weeks remaining, The Grind cafe reopens with limited menu and hours

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The Grind, a cafe located in Fairchild-Martindale Library, reopened on April 28 after having been closed for the spring semester.

Bruce Christine, general manager of Lehigh Dining Services, cited the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic as the main reason for its prolonged closure.

 “It was purely decided by the (COVID-19) Response Team to limit gatherings and to encourage social distancing among the students,” Christine said. “Lehigh Dining Services falls under the team’s guidelines so it was decided that closing The Grind was an effective and safe way to keep Lehigh students safe.”

Although students are eager for its return, Christine said there will be some changes to The Grind’s operating schedule.

“There will be a minimal menu and reduced hours,” Christine said. “Even with all of the students’ hard work, it is important to remember that the pandemic is not over so we are trying our best to ensure that with the reopening we are still being cautious.”

The Grind’s menu no longer contains grilled sandwiches and will operate mainly as a morning eatery. The cafe will primarily serve breakfast sandwiches, coffee, bakery items and smoothies. 

Despite these reductions in offerings, some Lehigh students are happy about the cafe’s reopening. 

“The Grind definitely served as a convenient way to get food in between online classes last semester because if I was studying I would not want to walk all the way up to the dining halls,” said Arin Sang, ‘24. “It was also really nice running into friends and other peers there while they were taking online classes.”

Nande Trant, ‘22, agreed that The Grind is a good place to utilize during study breaks.

Although there are only three weeks left of the semester, both Sang and Trant said they will be spending a lot of time at The Grind now that it has reopened. 

“I will definitely be using the rest of my meal swipes at The Grind,” Sang said.

Both students believe the cafe will be quite busy through the end of the semester, given the anticipation surrounding its reopening and with final exams approaching.

 “I feel like The Grind will definitely be more packed now since finals are coming up,” Trant said. “There is more of a reason to go to the library now.”

Despite the proximity to the end of the academic year, Christine said students played a large role in Dining Services’ decision to reopen the cafe.

“We had a lot of people asking for it and as cases are slowing down, it is nice to give the Lehigh students the opportunity to enjoy what little social interaction they can have left for the rest of the semester,” Christine said.

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