The Comenian

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Coffeehouse: Moravian’s Hidden Gem

From+left+to+right%3A+Vaughn+Tempesta%2C+Miles+Molerio%2C+Gabby+Hochfeld%2C+and+Jillian+McLuhan+at+Coffeehouse.+
From left to right: Vaughn Tempesta, Miles Molerio, Gabby Hochfeld, and Jillian McLuhan at Coffeehouse.

From left to right: Vaughn Tempesta, Miles Molerio, Gabby Hochfeld, and Jillian McLuhan at Coffeehouse.

From left to right: Vaughn Tempesta, Miles Molerio, Gabby Hochfeld, and Jillian McLuhan at Coffeehouse.

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Every Wednesday night, the basement of Main Hall on South campus comes to life.

Catchy, underground music is heard, and twinkling Christmas lights of every color are plugged in. Students from every walk of life come to enjoy 50-cent all-you-can-drink coffee, tea, hot chocolate, and homemade snacks.

Such is Coffeehouse, a hidden Moravian College tradition that has been going strong for decades.

Every week, Vaughn Tempesta ‘19, Jillian McLuhan ‘20, Gabby Hochfeld ‘19, and Miles Molerio ‘20 become volunteer baristas and DJ’s, serving a wide variety of drinks and choosing the music selection at Coffeehouse.

“The history of Coffeehouse is a bit of a mystery. It’s in a very historic place–Main Hall–and the venue here used to be a burger joint back in the day,”  said Tempesta. “We found old journals from Coffeehouse previously, and mugs that go back to the 80s, which gives us a sense of how long it’s been going on.”

Back [then] , Coffeehouse was held in the Doghouse on North campus.

“I started going to Coffeehouse every week my freshman year and I started talking to one of the girls who worked here, and asked how I could be a part of it. I ended up taking her spot when she graduated,” McLuhan said.

Students and alumni come together for 3 hours to play board games, cards, musical instruments, and even foosball. One alumna, Kayli Silimperi ‘17, is a well-known Coffeehouse member, and comes every week.

“I really like that it gives you a chance to unwind in the middle of the week. Getting the chance to relax and laugh and drink coffee is very nice,” she said.

Coffeehouse also offers theme nights, and various clubs can sponsor a night. Previous themes have included temporary tattoo, pajama, alumni, and open mic nights. Spectrum, BSU, and Artists Unleashed recently hosted sponsor nights as well.

“Not many things happen during the week on campus,” said Hochfeld. “This is a place that’s safe, has positive vibes, is cheap, and even Officer Joe comes sometimes to say hi!”

“I love the community aspect of it. It’s a safe, fun, carefree place where people can be comfortable, loud or quiet and study and play games, or catch up with friends,” McLuhan said.

Coffeehouse is filled with memorabilia from past years and random knickknacks, including a huge assortment of mugs displayed behind the counter, string lights of every color, pictures, and inspirational quotes.

“I really like the lighting. It’s really nice and cozy. It gives you that homey kind of vibe. I can almost sleep here,” Molerio said.

When asked to describe Coffeehouse in 3 words, almost all mentioned tradition. Other favorites were entertaining, historic, creative, and safe. Everyone is welcome and respected at Coffeehouse.

All Moravian students should experience Coffeehouse at least once in their college careers. It is held every Wednesday night from 9pm-12am in the basement of Main Hall. Follow them on their Facebook here, or on Instagram @mococoffeehouse.

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2 Comments

2 Responses to “Coffeehouse: Moravian’s Hidden Gem”

  1. Joyce Hinnefeld on March 20th, 2018 8:27 am

    This ancient faculty member remembers the Coffeehouses of years past! Hats off to the students who are keeping the tradition alive–and to you, Corinne, for covering it for The Comenian!

    [Reply]

    adviser Reply:

    Thank you, Dr. Hinnefeld!

    [Reply]

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