For Immediate Release
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NORMAN - University of Oklahoma College of Law students, faculty and staff celebrate the opening of a new café on the first floor of the Law Center. Amicus Café officially opened Oct. 17 with a ribbon cutting event at noon. Attendees sampled new items on the café’s expanded menu. In addition, from 4 to 6 p.m., the café hosted an “Oxford-style” pub night for students and professors to enjoy the new gathering area and Oxford Summer Program participants to reunite.
The updated café features wood trim and warm tones of beige, brown, and crimson. It also offers expanded seating options for students, including five tables with booth seating and several square wooden tables that can be rearranged into conference tables for students who would like to hold meetings in the space. Additionally, the southwest corner now contains a lounge area with a large leather couch, four flat screen televisions, and two plush armchairs. This space is intended to be a comfortable study area for students to relax between classes, said Sandra Sobrado, Director of Facilities at OU Law.
“We were trying to create a community space for students where they can gather and feel comfortable,” Sobrado said. “It’s like creating a little home space for them.”
The renovation began last October after a law school survey revealed that one of the biggest changes OU Law students desired was an updated café. Amicus Café previously had been more like a small convenience store with mostly prepackaged or premade food items.
Sobrado said the survey confirmed what OU Law administrators had been thinking for a while: The old Amicus Café just didn’t fit in with the atmosphere of the rest of Coats Hall, which was renovated and expanded in the early 2000s.
Amicus Café now allows students to choose from several new hot meal options, said Curtis Gregoire, OU Housing and Food Services General Manager for the South Campus. Gregoire said the café is now equipped with an oven proofer that allows café employees to bake fresh bread on site, a Turbochef oven for toasting made-to-order sandwiches, and a hot bar that will feature home-style meals.
“Before, we were lacking variety,” he said. “Now it will be more like a café.”
This was important, Gregoire said, because many OU Law students spend a lot of their time at the law school, but previously they did not have a viable on-site option to get a real meal.
The renovation was made possible thanks to a donation of $200,000 from the Oklahoma City law firm McAfee & Taft. Part of the donation also funds the Oklahoma Law Review’s annual symposium.
“Thanks to a generous gift from McAfee & Taft, we have been able to bring Amicus Café in line with the remainder of our beautiful and state-of-the-art facility,” OU Law Dean Joseph Harroz said. “The café is now a warm and welcoming space for our students and faculty members to gather, socialize and collaborate.”
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