As of this term, LaVerde’s will no longer be open 24 hours on weeknights and will close instead at 3 a.m.. There are no plans for any alternative late-night food service on campus since it’s not certain there would be enough student demand to make it viable.
Chris Christensen, director of operations at the 660 Corporation which owns Laverde’s, declined to comment on LaVerde’s shortened hours.
Unlike residence-based dining, LaVerde’s is a privately owned retailer and is not subject to MIT Campus Dining regulations. The store’s hours are therefore determined by the current leasing agreement, requiring the approximate hours of 7 a.m. to midnight. LaVerde’s 24-hour convenience was above and beyond the standard leasing requirements, and its new decreased hours still surpasses the requisite limit. The question still remains: where can students go to get a late night snack?
As of now, there are no plans to implement a late-night food service. Phillip J. Walsh, director of the Campus Activities Complex, noted that only if sufficient demand exists will MIT Dining add new food alternatives. If only a small group of students demand late-night snacks, then it is not worth the time and money to implement any plans.
Although some students would like to see the reopening of the Coffee House on the third floor of the student center, the CAC and others have no plans to do so. While some might argue that the Coffee House would provide a nice alternative to LaVerde’s, the time and expense required to run the business would be burdening. Closed in 2001, the Coffee House was managed by the Student Center Committee, a student-run group which no longer exists. Due to overwhelming expenses and the lack of available employment, the Coffee House fell under. Its third floor space has been recently renovated into a lounge open to all MIT students. The CAC is also allowing student groups to host events in the space and there are plans for new entertainment options in the Coffee House this year.
Founded by Frank LaVerde in the 1980s, LaVerde’s was one of the first food markets to target its sales towards a college campus. It was sold two years ago to the 660 Corporation, which owns 17 convenience stores around Boston including MacGregor Convenience and the Buick Street Market & Cafe.