Ground zero café closed for renovations

Photo courtesy of Ground Zero’s website

Ground Zero Performance Café will be closed during the upcoming year for renovations, the student-run business announced on their Facebook page on Aug. 10.

“With heavy hearts are we making this announcement,” the announcement said. “We are extremely saddened that Ground Zero will be closed this next year.”

The café, which features live student performances, University-sponsored events and a menu of coffee drinks and milkshakes, will open for scheduled events in the fall semester but stay completely closed during the spring semester, according to the post.

Piper Nylen, the general manager of Ground Zero, said campus organizations can still schedule events for the fall, but the space will not open for studying nor beverages.

According to Nylen, the renovations should not extend past next year, though an exact construction plan has not yet been finalized. She said the decision to close the café for the upcoming year was made by USC administrators, not by the students who work there.

“The café is old and needs attention and revamps to keep up with modern businesses,” Nylen said. “The baristas and the Ground Zero community are very devastated [with its closing].”

She added that the renovations will include a redo of the coffee bar area, the addition of restrooms and a fresh coat of paint, among other things. Nylen said that, at this time, there is no plan to remove the stage setup the café currently holds.

Jacob Surovsky, a sophomore member of Commedus Interruptus, an improv group that performs at the café on a weekly basis, said that his organization has an event schedule at Ground Zero for the upcoming semester.

“It’s a really huge bummer. Ground Zero is a space that is very different than anything on the rest of campus,” Surovsky said. “I really hope the renovations do not take away from the energy the space has right now.”

Nylen said there is no plan to relocate the café for the upcoming year.

Trojan Events and Service, the body that oversees Ground Zero, had not responded to requests for comment at the time of publication.