The Green Bean Opens

At Occidental, there's no need to run to Starbucks anymore if you have a java jones.

The student-run Green Bean Coffee Lounge opened for business Oct. 23 in what was formerly the Green Family Dining Room off of Branca Batio in the Johnson Student Center. The lounge offers baked goods from Porto's Bakery, 100% fair trade and carbon-free coffee from Grounds for Change, and other refreshments from Harlambos, PepsiCo, and Nature's Best.

"So far so good," said Karina Viaud, assistant director of new student programs, who helped plan the lounge and oversees its operation. "Business is doing well. We're getting a lot of foot traffic. People are definitely using the space to meet, mingle and study." While ice-blended drinks are proving the most popular so far (only in L.A. in November!), the signature drinks GC-4 (aka "Green Dynamite"-- Ghiradelli chocolate and cherry with espresso and steamed milk), the Skotcheim (butterscotch mixed with espresso and steamed milk, with a hint of chocolate and hazelnut), and the Son-of-a-Veitch (Ghiradelli chocolate and steamed milk with a sprinkle of cinnamon, paprika, chile ancho, and cayenne pepper) have also been hits, Viaud says. (The Skotcheim and the Son-of-a-Veitch are named after the current and immediate past presidents of Occidental, Jonathan Veitch and Bob Skotheim.)

The lounge was conceived of as a place for students to hang out and work or study, and will soon be adding low-key entertainment such as poetry readings "while keeping the integrity and vibe of a coffee lounge," Viaud says.

In addition, "the student workers are gaining a lot of skills," Viaud says. "It's an opportunity for them. It will be huge for them when they want to do an internship, or get a job. I think students are going to want to be involved. They can start out as a barista as a freshman and be a manager by their senior year."

The Green Bean's hours are Monday through Thursday from 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 a.m., Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sunday from 3 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.

I f you are a student interested in working at the Green Bean, contact Raquel Carrion at