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LaVerde’s Market Open 24-Hrs. During the Week This Semester

By Gireeja Ranade

ASSOCIATE NEWS EDITOR

LaVerde’s Market is now open 24 hours a day, Sunday through Thursday.

The market, as well as its deli counter, is operating as normal throughout the night, said Chris Silverio, assistant manager of the store. The change went into effect on Sunday.

Store manager Marc Semon said that the change was made in response to “an awful lot of requests” for extending the hours, especially since the 24-hour Coffeehouse closed. Semon said that this is something store proprietor Frank LaVerde has been considering for many years.

Frank LaVerde did not return requests for comment.

Coffeehouse closing major factor

Assistant director of Enterprise Services John M. McDonald said that LaVerde’s is trying to fill the need for late-night coffee and food since the Coffeehouse closed last year. He also suggested that the store will provide competition for MacGregor Convenience, formerly the only on-campus food option open after midnight.

However, Silverio said that this change had nothing to do with the late hours of MacGregor Convenience.

Director of the Campus Activities Complex Phillip J. Walsh said that the Coffeehouse could not be sustained because it was losing money. He said that LaVerde’s may be more successful in their late-night venture because of their location on the first floor of the Student Center and a faithful client base. Use of the MIT card has also made the store accessible to more students who use TechCash.

McDonald said that Laverde’s is the only place on campus that could operate 24 hours a day because no other place has the sales volume to make extended hours profitable.

MIT plays small role in decision

Although the sign outside Laverde’s store states that the extended hours will hold for the entire semester, MIT has only approved this idea for a month, according to Walsh.

McDonald said that the management of LaVerde’s made this decision by themselves and there was not too much administration input.

“Today was the first day I have been here to talk to Frank [LaVerde],” Walsh said. The proclamation that the new hours will be in effect for the entire semester was not approved by MIT, and was possibly overenthusiastic, he said.

“It’s not in MIT’s best interest to have real estate partners that don’t succeed,” Walsh said. He said that MIT would like for LaVerde’s to try the new hours for one month and then evaluate the feasibility after the trial period.

“Hopefully, we’ll be doing this forever,” he said.

Administration, students happy

“I think it’s a great service,” McDonald said. “This campus definitely does not go to sleep at night.”

“This is the best news I have heard all weekend,” said Michael Yu Yin Zhu ’06.

Avonne S. Bell ’05, said she thought it was great news since she spends a lot of time across the street in the Course XVI (Aeronautics and Astronautics) lab.

Jasper S. Lin ’03, who claims he eats almost all his meals at LaVerde’s, said he was very excited by the prospect.

At the same time, this news might not make much of a difference to students who commute to campus or live far away from the Student Center. “It doesn’t really matter to me since I don’t live on campus,” said Kimberly M. Straub ’06.