Eight o’ Clock at the Dunbar Den

Why would anyone wait in a drive-thru for 10 minutes, spend four dollars for a cup of hot chocolate then risk being late to school, when they could sit down and enjoy a nice, fresh cup of hot chocolate for only $1? The obvious answer is they wouldn’t.

The Dunbar Den offers hot chocolate, coffee along with creamer and sugar, a phone charging station and a generally relaxing environment in which students can take a breather before or after school. The Den is open from 7:25 a.m.-8 a.m.

On Feb. 14, the Dunbar Den had its grand opening. Many students came wandering in to finally get a glimpse at the long awaited school coffee shop. Dunbar Den is a student-made, student-run coffee shop located at the back of the library. The idea for a school coffee shop came up two years ago, and plenty of students and teachers have put in hours of work for the grand opening.

Students in the The Learning Connection (TLC) program at Dunbar have been working in order to get the Dunbar Den up and running. With the help of Ms. Susan Doring’s architecture classes and Mrs. Rebecca Bank’s art classes, the Dunbar Den was transformed from a storage closet into the warm and welcoming school coffee shop it is today. All tables, chairs, and artwork were put together by students and staff.

Many outside companies, like Expresso Medic, have helped out by donating coffee, coffee machines and other items to the school. The profit goes to local charities but at different times during the school year.

Students can purchase different items, depending on the upcoming holiday or event, outside of the library for$1. This item becomes the “ticket” to retrieve a beverage such as coffee, espresso or even hot tea. Items for sale include chocolate spoons, student made coffee mugs and holiday themed pencils. You can even purchase a drink to be delivered right to your favorite teacher’s desk in the morning. The drinks are a $1.

The decorative and creative interior set a calming morning atmosphere. The colorfully painted tables and little stools bring groups together, to converse with friends or strangers.

“It’s a really chill atmosphere,” freshman Kimberly Smith said. “You can see friends, while grabbing a coffee, and the staff is so casual, which makes the Den more relaxing.”

This year the Dunbar Den is open every Friday before school. The goal for the Dunbar Den’s staff is to be open every day before school and possibly during the lunch period sometime next school year. The Dunbar Den’s staff also wants the room to be used for more than just a coffee shop. Some ideas for other uses include selling drinks and snacks after school, allowing clubs and teams to reserve the room for meetings or events, and possibly letting teachers use the room for students to complete small group projects.