Now Brewing: New Peet's Coffee Opens in ARC

Employees prepare a drink at the ARC Peet's.
The Peet's at the ARC will be open later than any other campus coffee shop during the academic year. (Cody Kitaura/UC Davis)

Crews are just beginning work to expand the Activities and Recreation Center, but one transformation on that part of campus is already complete: a new Peet’s.

The new coffee shop opened in the former Starbucks location at the ARC Wednesday (Aug. 2), giving visitors a new choice for a pick-me-up before a class, meeting or workout.

ARC ready for expansion

The ARC weight equipment has been relocated to one of the basketball courts.
The strength equipment in the ARC has been moved to a basketball court and a racquetball court, while cardio equipment has been located to the running track. All of the equipment remains accessible during construction. (Cody Kitaura/UC Davis)

Meanwhile, the ARC is preparing for its roughly 20,000-square-foot expansion, with temporary dividers going up to separate the construction zones from the rest of the building, which remains open with all of the equipment still available for use.

“It’s rare when you do an expansion that you get to keep all your equipment available to patrons during construction,” said Deb Johnson, director of recreation. “That was something we really wanted to accomplish.”

She said most feedback from ARC members has been positive, saying the temporary change — especially the layout of the weight equipment — is an improvement.

Read more about the expansion to the ARC — and the temporary entrances visitors must use — in this previous story.

It’s part of a campuswide switch from Starbucks after Peet’s and Java City won contracts to provide coffee to both the Davis and Sacramento campuses. One more Davis Peet’s location will open this fall in the Silo, and a coffee cart and kiosk are also forthcoming.

At the ARC Peet’s, changes are subtle but noticeable. A dividing wall inside the coffee shop has been removed and another lowered to make the space more open, and a communal table has been added.

“It’s more of a community space,” Kraig Brady of Student Housing and Dining Services said.

Students, faculty and staff will have plenty of chances to use it. During the summer it will be open until 8 p.m., but during the academic year the ARC Peet’s will serve coffee until midnight — the latest coffee available on campus. It will also serve pastries from several sources, including Bella Bru in Sacramento, and sandwiches and breakfast burritos made on campus by Dining Services.

While crews worked to convert the space, visitors jiggled the door handles expectantly every day, but staff already knew Peet’s was hotly anticipated: The Berkeley-based chain came out ahead of Starbucks in a 2015 survey that asked the campus community its preferences for food and drink, Brady said.

He said many prefer Peet’s coffee for its thick foam and quality coffee.

“They’ve perfected the art of steaming milk,” Brady said.

Sixty-five students and one career staff members will work at the ARC Peet’s.

Read more about the two coffee contracts with Peet’s and Java City, and how they support students.


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