The Simon Fraser Student Society (SFSS) announced today that Simon Fraser University has taken over operations of SFSS food and beverage services.
“We believe that SFU has the vision and campus resources to make this a reality and are confident in their ability to find the right operator,” said SFSS President Hangue Kim in a statement.
The agreement means that the university is now operating all of the spaces that previously were part of SFSS food and beverage services, including the food court in Maggie Benston Centre in addition to the Highland Pub, Higher Grounds Coffee Shop, and catering kitchen which closed on June 15.
The Highland Pub will be reopened to students early next year following a renovation of the space, according to the statement. However, students will be able host pub nights and social events in the space as soon as next month.
SFU has plans to reopen the Higher Grounds Coffee Shop early in the semester.
The SFSS shut down its food and beverage services earlier this year, citing ongoing deficits. Despite closing the pub for four months out of the year, the society’s food and beverage operations still saw a loss of nearly $350,000 in 2016.
The decision to close the operations was made by the previous Board of Directors before its term ended in April.
“We want to recognize the leadership efforts of the previous [b]oard members in regards to these operations,” said Kim. “Choosing to close food and beverage operations was a tough decision, but it was the right one to make based on the losses that accrued over many years.”
In May, the new SFSS board announced that it was seeking a food and beverage operator to re-open to space to students in time for the fall semester.
Kim told The Peak that the SFSS did have interest from a number of other operators, but determined that the university was best suited.
The SFSS received $450,000 from the university for the food and beverage assets when the space was transferred on August 31 and will continue receiving a percentage of the food court leases for the next decade.
In the statement, Kim said that the SFSS emphasised consultations with the student body and free access to the pub for student events in its deal with the university. The agreement also includes a $250,000 commitment from SFU for renovations and the university has plans to include members of the SFU community in a redesign of the Highland.
SFU Ancillary Services director Mark McLaughlin said in the statement that the next step for the university is to select an operator for the space.