Wellesley Center coffee shops have closed their doors

Wellesley has always been known to have a quaint town center, with an abundant supply of warm, inviting coffee shops. Over the past two years, however, Wellesley Center has lost many of these coffee spots, leaving locals and commuters with limited options. 

Even before the COVID pandemic, Dunkin’ Donuts, Bruegger’s Bagels, and Peet’s Coffee had disappeared from the Central Street town strip. Starbucks is temporarily closed but is expected to reopen in the coming days, according to the Swellesley Report

What was once a ten-minute walk from campus to the nearest coffee seller is now roughly a twenty-minute commute to the Linden Street Starbucks. Although shops like J.P. Licks and Cafe Mangal sell coffee, it is not their specialty, and they lack a coffee shop environment.

The closures of major chains have affected the Wellesley community, especially students at Dana Hall. Anelly Mad-toingué ’24, the daughter of the Wheeler Dorm Director, said that the coffee shops in town “were so much more convenient than the Starbucks in Linden Square.” Anelly said that the closing had made her spend her time and money elsewhere. 

Iva Jacoby ‘23 thinks that the closing of Starbucks in downtown Wellesley “is debatably the worst thing that could happen to the town of Wellesley” as she used to frequently go to Starbucks during the academic day and on weekends. Jacoby just wants the comfort of her “vanilla sweet cream cold brew.”  

Grayson Arango, House Director of Johnston D, said that she has seen day students make trips to drop off food and beverages to boarders. She also mentioned that she’s seen more car trips with day students to go into town and using ride-sharing services because of the inaccessibility of coffee shops. Though these closures make things more complicated, Ms. Arango is thankful that various cuisines like Riceburg are available and are a quick walk away. 

The Swellesley Report also documented that locals are looking into different options for coffee fueling spots because of the “coffee drought.” A coffee cart is an option but lacks the ability to be a meet-up space or to an environment for working. 

Even though shops have closed on Central Street, coffee trips still remain a staple to the Dana community, even if they take twice as long as they once did.

Image Source: The Swellesley Report   

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