A drawing of the café space.

A drawing of the café space.

Tuesday, May 3, marks the grand opening for Audrey’s, the new and long-awaited café in Geisel Library, UC San Diego’s flagship building. Daisies — as well as coffee, tea and other treats — will be plentiful at the new café, named for Audrey Geisel, the library’s long-time friend and generous benefactor.

The campus celebration will begin at 10 a.m. at the entrance to the café, located on the main (2nd) floor in the East Wing of the Geisel Library building. After a brief ceremony featuring a Seuss-inspired “ribbon cutting” event with Chancellor Pradeep Khosla, University Librarian Brian Schottlaender and other campus leaders, guests will have the opportunity to sample and purchase certified organic, fair trade coffee, expertly brewed and supplied by award-winning independent roaster Café Virtuoso. The grand opening will also feature a special celebratory cookie baked by the café’s pastry purveyor — Bread & Cie — as well as Audrey’s Almond Croissant and Audrey’s coffee and tea blends.

“We at the library are thrilled that the café will soon be open for business,” said Schottlaender, The Audrey Geisel University Librarian. “We know our students and other friends, visitors, and members of the campus community are also excited that they will soon be able to buy and enjoy certified organic coffee and tea — as well as pastries, sandwiches and salads — in the library. I have a feeling ‘Meet me at Audrey’s’ is going to be a common snippet on campus social media channels in the months ahead. We are very grateful to Audrey Geisel for enabling us to make this happen. Our partner, Sports Facilities, and our fabulous vendors will make this a day to remember.”

Festivities will include music from the Teeny Tiny Pit Orchestra, a photo booth, cupping stations and other social media activities — which will continue until 2 p.m. After the “ribbon cutting” ceremony, guests will be able to order food and beverage items from the café’s regular menu.

Audrey’s will be managed by the university’s Sports Facilities, which manages Peet’s Coffee & Tea in the north part of the campus. Coffee and tea will be supplied by Barrio Logan-based Cafe Virtuoso, well-known for its environmentally sustainable products, including certified organic, fair trade and ethically sourced coffee and tea. San Diego’s Bread & Cie will provide pastries and other breakfast items; salads and sandwiches will also be provided. The café will also employ a large number of students — in excess of 70 — to operate and run the café.

Construction on Audrey’s, which occupies approximately 3,000 square feet, began in December. The café will provide seating for 50 to 75 patrons, and will also feature a to-go counter. While café hours are subject to change, Audrey’s will initially be open daily, from 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. from Monday to Thursday, with shorter hours over the weekend. The café will stay open until midnight during Finals Week and other high-volume study times.

The café is the first of several upgrades planned for the university’s flagship building over the next several years, thanks to a $3 million gift made by Audrey Geisel in July, which is the lead gift in the Geisel Library Revitalization Initiative, a major endeavor aimed at transforming and rejuvenating the interior public spaces of the library to meet the evolving needs of students, faculty and other library users in an increasingly digital environment.

In addition to the café, the Geisel Library Revitalization Initiative will include a wide range of new technology enhancements, as well as new furniture, carpeting and finishes. While Audrey Geisel’s generous gift will support the revitalization of the main floor public spaces, additional funds are needed to support renovation efforts in the public spaces on the 1st and 8th floors of the building. For further information about the Geisel Library Revitalization Initiative, click here or contact Julie Sully, director of development for the library, at jsully@ucsd.edu or (858) 822-4554.