Students hoping to grab a cup of joe at Broadway Coffee are in for a surprise. Instead of a bustling coffee shop, they will now be met by brown paper covering the front door and window.
BROADWAY COFFEE is currently undergoing a remodel to become Baan-Thai’s new bar and lounge. Photo by Risa Liu.
Students hoping to grab a cup of joe at Broadway Coffee are in for a surprise.
Instead of a bustling coffee shop, they will now be met by brown paper covering the front door and window.
After 16 years in business, the coffeehouse that once gave students a place to study, mingle and relax is undergoing remodeling to become a bar and lounge for the upstairs Baan-Thai Restaurant.
The reconstruction began shortly after winter break started.
In addition, a coffee cart will be built adjacent to the building so students and community members can still grab a cup of coffee while on the move.
“We are expanding the restaurant; we want more seating and want to put a little bar downstairs,” said Pete Leesahavivat, co-owner of Baan-Thai.
The space will be more an extension of the restaurant than a traditional bar. It will serve the standard drinks, cocktails, liquor and beer, along with new and familiar dishes.
“I think it was the time because they [Baan-Thai] really need the space,” said Amir Rahimi, the building’s landlord, who is leasing the former coffeehouse to Baan-Thai.
But some students and former Broadway Coffee customers disagree.
“Bogus!” PSU sophomore Shelby Cazier said of the conversion. “I loved that place [Broadway Coffee]—the only place I knew besides Starbucks that sold coffee and tea on campus.
“It was so cozy and comfy-feeling inside,” she added. “Definitely would have voted against it turning into a bar—we have plenty of those on campus.”
Rahimi said that while it will be different without the coffeehouse, he thinks the coffee cart outside the building will be a sufficient substitute.
Because Broadway Coffee was a popular spot for PSU students to study, Baan-Thai’s owners plan to make it a comfortable place where people can still come to find a mellow ambiance.
“The bar area is going to have a more relaxed atmosphere—it’s not going to be like a sports bar,” said Paul Leesahavivat, Pete’s brother and the other owner of Baan-Thai.
“Students are always welcome, especially because we are open late. Students can come here and relax,” he said.