café atrium is the café in ucc’s rec center, the mardyke arena. unlike sneakers café back in umd’s eppley rec center, which is essentially just another college dining facility, this seems more like the full-fledged café. so, i figured it was worth a review.
the glug: your basic espresso choices. only, the menu gives you a choice between a single and double shot. i don’t believe a saw a mocha on there.
the grub: some premade sandwiches and pasta (which you can get toasted for an extra 50 cents), your basic pastry assortment (scones, croissants, mini custard tarts), faaaancy snack bars (including clif bars! which i don’t see often in this country), homemade protein balls. an ice cream chest. plus, they have an actual kitchen menu of irish café staples like baked potatoes and fresh sandwiches, and a breakfast menu with toast and egg items.
the service: order at the counter and take your order to your table. no need to bus your own table.
the sounds: typical coffeehouse acoustic indie-pop, the noises of weights clashing a few rooms over
the aesthetic: like a cafeteria but nice and cozy. sleek perforated lamps and your choice of leather armchairs or plastic.
the vessels: classic ceramic for drinks, wax paper bags for pastries, a plastic cafeteria tray to carry things to your table.
the baristas: there was a pair of nice young women working both in the morning and afternoon when I went.
the clientele: ironically, it seems like most of the people who go to café atrium and most of the people who go to the mardyke don’t entirely match up. that is to say, café atrium patrons tend to be older, probably retirees.
accept card: no
the weaknesses: even if you curl up in the booth in the corner, it still feels like you’re in a gym. not the worst, but it’s a little institutional-feeling and chaotic. weak eduroam connection.
the strengths: it’s certainly convenient to caffeinate before a workout to reduce fatigue, or after so you can carry on with your work after exercise, or if you’re waiting for someone in the gym you have a nice place to hang. also when i left my laptop there, they kept it behind the counter.
price range: seems pretty reasonable to me.