CSU Discusses Hall Building Mezzanine Café Plans

Last semester Concordia students wondered if the referendum question mandating the Concordia Student Union to create a student-run Café in the Hall building’s mezzanine on a co-operative model would pass.

Now that it has, the question faced by council is how to follow through.

Discussions are ongoing about the Mezz Café, which unlike Loyola’s Hive Café—slated to open in September—has no set opening date. Several possible co-operative models are being discussed. The board of directors of CUSAcorp, the for-profit arm of the CSU, released a feasibility report detailing possible options—notably whether the two cafés should be kept separate or operate in conjunction.

“The board of directors was uncomfortable producing a formal recommendation to implement because none of the models will be profitable for a minimum of three or four years,” former VP Clubs James Vaccaro explained to The Link.

“By [combining the two cafés] we will be able to cut administrative costs. The kitchen at The Hive could be used to produce the food at one central location. Because it’s already built, we have the infrastructure and the equipment there. And we can bring [the food] to the Mezz […] instead of taking on gas lines, ventilation and infrastructure costs downtown. It does make a lot of sense,” Vaccaro said.

“Seeing as there aren’t even any plans or technical drawings [for the space], this is not our most urgent problem,” he told council.

Because the Hall Building was constructed in 1964, a time when asbestos was legally used in construction, renovations can’t take place without a proper evaluation.

“Whenever renovations take place there needs to be an asbestos inspection, […] there must be an expert to contain the asbestos and remove it safely,” Vaccaro said.

Former CSU President Melissa Kate Wheeler said they had “turned a new leaf” in the conversation about asbestos in the basement, and that the next steps in dealing with the situation would be a proposal from an architecture firm recommended by Concordia.