Shake spot to open in Norris amid Dunkin’ closure and Starbucks relocation


Jonah Elkowitz/Daily Senior Staffer

The new Starbucks location will open March 2023.

Nicole Markus, Social Media Editor

Norris University Center is shaking things up.

A Starbucks Coffee will replace the Dunkin’ that was previously located on the ground floor of Norris starting in Spring Quarter. Shake Smart, a smoothie and sandwich place, will also open at the Starbucks’ current location on Norris’ first floor. 

“The Starbucks concept that we know on the first floor is pretty outdated, and the footprint is pretty small,” Norris Executive Director Corbin Smyth said. “The plan is to put in a full Starbucks experience that you would get in any of their newer stores.”

According to Smyth, the transition will be “seamless.” The original Starbucks on the first floor will remain open until construction is completed downstairs, which should happen in March 2023, he said. 

Though there will no longer be a Dunkin’ coffee shop on campus, which Smyth said stems from the fact the location had the least revenue of Norris’ retail eateries, Northwestern will sell doughnuts through Market at Norris. 

However, some students aren’t happy with Dunkin’s closing.

“Their food products are better than Starbucks,” Weinberg junior Stephanie Shi said. “I also feel like it’s going to be super chaotic, because the line for Starbucks is super long and the line for MOD is super long, and because of how they’re oriented, I think it’s just going to be super messy.”

Medill senior Maria Caamano said the lines at Starbucks have gotten increasingly long since Dunkin’s closing. 

Dunkin’ served as a quick lunch option between classes for Caamano, an option she said has not translated to Starbucks because of the longer lines.

“It was a cheaper option for students,” she said. 

The changes to restaurant selections aren’t the only projects Norris has in the works. Architects from the design company SmithGroup spoke to students Tuesday about a potential renovation and upgrade to the Norris East Lawn. 

Students had the opportunity to place stickers on ideas that seemed the most exciting to them. Potential upgrades included an outdoor amphitheater and a lake-facing bistro.

Smyth said he believes students will enjoy the Shake Smart on campus. The company was founded with college students in mind, he said, focusing on fresh ingredients for an on-the-go lifestyle.

Along with traditional shakes and smoothies, the restaurant features wraps, acai bowls, sandwiches and coffee, Smyth said.

“The campuses that Shake Smart are on are very quickly becoming the No. 1 outlet that students are seeking out,” Smyth said. “The whole brand is really focused on online ordering, so even if you come in person, you still order from a kiosk.”

Shake Smart is slated to open in fall 2023, Smyth said.

Shi said while the idea of having a smoothie spot appeals to her, she’s worried about pricing. 

“I feel like those kinds of spots are always so expensive,” Shi said. “But I’m sure it’ll get lots of business.”

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @nicolejmarkus

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