Loker Grill Will Offer Later Hours

Stale bagels and lukewarm coffee will no longer be first-years’ only late-night on-campus fare.

As part of revamping of Loker Commons, the grill will take orders from the end of Brain Break at 10:30 p.m. until 1 a.m. Sunday through Thursday. The food stands will be replaced during the day by fly-by. Loker Commons will now remain open until 2 a.m.

The decision to extend shuttle service until 4 a.m., made independently of the Loker discussions, alleviated a primary concern about keeping Loker open late at night. “The hurdle has always been the security concern, and that the shuttle was not running,” said Director of Memorial Hall Eric Engel, who has been pushing for later hours for years. “Now that it is, people are quick to say, ‘Sure, keep it open later.’”

The grill will serve food similar to the grills in upperclass Houses and the menu will be adjusted based on student feedback, said Ted A. Mayer, executive director of Harvard University Dining Services (HUDS).

HUDS will test out the new grill this semester to see whether it is financially sustainable, Engel said.


He added that students have been asking for a late night grill in Loker for several years.

Though the grill will be open to all students, its location in the basement of Memorial Hall makes it convenient to most first-year housing.


In an attempt to generate more performance space for student musicians, the College has purchased a portable stage and partitioning curtain, which can separate the concert area from the booths on the back wall.

“This stage, along with some theatrical drapes and the coffeehouse shade will allow Loker to be transformed into a viable performance space with relative ease,” Associate Dean of the College Judith H. Kidd wrote in an e-mail.

Other changes are geared toward making the Loker coffeehouse more amenable to student group meetings.

“The coffeehouse was open to the other portion of Loker on three sides, creating a fish bowl effect,” Engel wrote in an email.

Besides moving Brain Break and fly-by to the grill area, the College has installed opaque shades around the coffeehouse room to foster privacy.

The performance space improvements were completed with an eye toward boosting retail sales, as well.

“Part of the mission here is to do a better job for student musicians, who are in desperate need of storage, performance and rehearsal space,” Engel said. “Better amenities will create more performances, which will bring more students, so they’ll sell more food—they fuel one another.”

—Joshua P. Rogers contributed to the reporting of this story.

—Staff writer Katharine A. Kaplan can be reached at