Good news: the espresso machine works. Bad news: you can't use it just yet.

The Spoke's a little over two months into its million-dollar renovation project which is set to be completed by September. 

The project was announced last November with initial plans to invest $500,000 dollars into kitchen improvements and up to $500,000 in other renovations. The goals of the renovation are to maximize space, increase seating capacity and better accommodate customer traffic. 

The Spoke Final Design Image

An illustration of The Spoke's final design, June 26, 2017.

Jeff Armour, the University Students' Council chief operating officer, said the biggest external change will be to the line-ups. An express line for coffee and small food items will spill into the University Community Centre's atrium while the line for larger food items will remain inside the Spoke. 

"This will speed up the line for those just wanting a coffee or easy food items and the bagel line will remain in place for longer order items. This line should also get faster because we are moving a large portion of customers to the express line," Armour explained.

The kitchen will be renovated to maximize space, Armour explained. This will allow for a safer student work environment and healthier menu items thanks to larger fridges and increased cold storage. 

Armour said that the Spoke’s decor will remain the same. When asked where the inspiration for the renovations came from, Armour said it came from students.

“The Spoke did a survey of customers in December 2016 and January 2017," Armour said. "We had a lot of respondents and the general vibe was ‘Don’t mess up the Spoke — we love it and please improve but don’t change the overall feel,’ so we won’t.”

According to Mark Leonard, senior manager of Hospitality Services, customer traffic flow between the line-up areas and the seating areas was one of the main factors that prompted the renovation. To solve this issue the Spoke will introduce curved counter-islands to help direct traffic from the cafe to the kitchen's order area and away from the lounge's seating area. 

The seating plan includes more individual seating with bar chairs added along the islands in front of the kitchen, and long tables for groups remaining in the lounge.

Armour said there aren't any plans for a grand reopening, but he looks forward to getting things back in action and serving students. 

For the time being, a temporary Spoke location with a limited menu can be found on the second floor of the UCC at the Western Film concession booth.


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