24/7 no more: LaVerde’s shortens hours as school year begins
DSL cites historical sales data and customer demand as cause
As the fall semester begins, some may have noticed the sign posted on the entrance to LaVerde’s, the iconic late night convenience store located on the first floor of the Student Center, announcing a schedule change. “Dear guests,” it reads, “We regret to inform you that we will not be returning to a 24-hour schedule for the academic year.”
The new schedule, effective Sept. 7, will see cutbacks on operations during pre-dawn and early morning hours. As a popular destination for late night p-setters and general night owls, LaVerde’s change in hours came as a shock to some and was met with nonchalance from others.
“It’s sort of sad … I’ve relied on LaVerde’s when I’ve wanted a snack late at night. … It is what it is … I guess I’ll have to work around it,” a member of the Class of 2020 told The Tech.
For Burhan Azeem ’19, the cutbacks struck a personal chord. “It takes a lot away from the freshman experience,” Azeem said. “I remember staying up late in my freshman year and getting snacks from LaVerde’s … That’s really sad.”
This is not the first time LaVerde’s has truncated its operation hours. In 2007 and 2008, The Tech reported previous instances of cutbacks in LaVerde’s hours at the start of fall semester.
In these instances, LaVerde’s cited lack of demand and short-staffing as causes for making the 24-hour schedule unsustainable. But in both instances, LaVerde’s returned to the 24-hour schedule.
“During midterms and finals we’ll definitely get back the 24 hours — we’ll do that for the students. I’ve been here on the late nights and know how necessary that is. But from what I can tell you, right now the change is indefinite,” Evan Hickey, general manager of LaVerde’s, said in an interview with The Tech.
When prompted for what caused the cutbacks, Hickey deferred the question to the district manager at 660 Corporation, which had acquired LaVerde’s from previous owner Frank LaVerde in 2006. The manager has yet to reply to the questions.
In an email to The Tech, Matthew Bauer, director of communications and special assistant to the dean for student life, wrote that the decision was based on historical sales data and customer demand.
“We realize this is an inconvenience for students who rely on LaVerde’s late at night,” Bauer wrote. “We want students to know that MIT late-night dining service will start in Maseeh and Simmons on Sunday, September 10. Students on a meal plan can use swipes for late-night dining, and students who are not on a meal plan can pay cash or use TechCash.”
According to Bauer, there are also plans for late-night dining in the Pritchett Dining Room in Walker Memorial this fall.
For now, night owls will have to look elsewhere to satisfy their cravings.
The new LaVerde’s schedule:
Sunday: 7 a.m. – 2 a.m.
Monday-Wednesday: 6 a.m. – 2 a.m.
Thursday & Friday: 6 a.m. – 3 a.m.
Saturday: 7 a.m. – 3 a.m.