Image credit Sören Smithrud
First opened in 2004, Southern Grounds was introduced as an addition to the Hannon Library. A place for a quick bite and cup of needed caffeine before a day of studies, it had the atmosphere of a coffee shop with nice seating and a usually quiet setting. However, the unforeseen pandemic forced SOU to move online and thus Southern Grounds was closed indefinitely.
Southern Oregon University decided to take advantage of this situation, using the shut-down as time to remodel. The Siskiyou asked a few students how they felt about its return, and it was well received. “I am glad for its return. I really missed having a little café in the library. Felt empty without it”. Another student said “It’s awesome to see its return. I didn’t notice it much before but I’m gonna make sure I go often, its really cool to be able to go get a cup of coffee before my class”. When speaking to some of the working students of Southern Grounds The Siskiyou asked how they felt working there. “I haven’t worked here before and I don’t usually work at coffee shops but it’s pretty nice. Its ” said barista and cashier Maxwell Bruhn “Its nice to see Southern Grounds open again and pretty fun to work here. When asked about the training another employee had this to say “The training is pretty easy to get the hang of but the real thing is a little more difficult. You’re gonna make mistakes but you just gotta keep trying”.
The remodeling included replacements for the floor and a color change. The previous floors were wooden and had been warped over the years; now, they have a blend of lamented tile floors. The color went from green to a mix of beige and black. The overall look of the café is modern, similar to the style of Hannon Library. The set up allows for a comfortable standing or sitting engagement with friends or an essay for class with big outdoor tables for the warmer seasons.
One of the larger changes to Southern Grounds is its support. When it was first opened in 2004 they were backed by Human Bean for the coffee and variety of drinks, and Herberts and Gerberts for the pastries and food. Now, after the pandemic, the deal between the companies ended and Southern Grounds is independent working with the SOU’s campus dining, Aladdin Campus Dining and Elior. They use fair trade Café Mam Coffee, teas, and food freshly made and provided by campus dining.
The range of drink selections have widened since past years with a long list of hot and cold drinks. They serve espresso, lattes and cold brews for the coffee lovers. London fog and some iced teas for the herbal crowd. Those who prefer non-dairy beverages, there is a large selection of Italian sodas, blended drinks, and even dairy free options for coffee. Don’t forget something to eat with a good supply of fruit, pastries, sandwiches, and wraps.
Now that Southern Grounds is open once again students can get a hot or iced drink with a snack for the road before class. You can find Southern Grounds to the left side of the entrance of the Hannon Library, open from 7am to 4pm, Monday through Friday.