Point Perk officially open for business one semester


Photo by Robert Berger

Freshman Brandon Bruce watches as a barista at Point Perk finishes preparing his coffee.

Written By Hayley Keys, For The Globe

A 2018 study published by the National Coffee Association says that approximately 48 percent of college aged individuals drink some form of coffee every day, creating a high demand for the hot beverage on university campuses. Point Park is no exception.

When the old Starbucks on the corner of Fort Pitt Blvd. and Wood Street closed its doors in May of 2017, many students wanted a new coffeehouse. 

“Point Park students put together this video when it closed and how all they wanted was coffee,” Director of Dining Services Zachary Schmidt said. “It was actually hilarious.”

Point Park’s response: Point Perk, located at 100 Wood Street near Village Park has now officially been open for one semester and has been busy so far, according to Schmidt.

Point Perk is open to the University and the general public. It is run by CulinArt and sells Starbucks coffee and a mix of food from the popular coffee chain and the Point Café.

“We’ve been working our hardest to blend ourselves into the university,” Schmidt said. “We want to be just as intertwined and into the frame and help the student body get along.”

Throughout the fall semester, Point Perk was host to a variety of student-run performances, including open mic nights and comedy shows. 

“So whether it’s through booking talent through the University, or looking into outside talent, we’re getting involved in booking the space so there is constantly activities going on in here,” said Schmidt.

However, Schmidt mentioned that event attendance was a notable issue in Point Perk’s first semester, which he attributed partially to a lack of advertising.

“Because of the lack of marketing we don’t have that call to action, so our performances were somewhat lacking in attendance,” Schmidt said.

“The vibe is nice,” Porscha Tresler, a freshman psychology major who enjoys the coffee house said, noticing a lack of attendance at the events. “Whenever my roommate and I went for karaoke night, there were about eight people. They don’t advertise anything.”

“We try to push the student groups to not be deterred since this was only our first semester open,” Schmidt said. 

The dining services director discussed his team’s plan to boost publicity which included ideas for community bulletin boards, the Instagram page, new neon signage and special meal deals with punch cards. 

Some of these changes have already been implemented including the Instagram page where students can find weekly deals on coffee and snacks. The meal punch cards can be found at any of the three dining locations on campus.

“Buy 10 coffees and get one free and if you spend more than $1.50 towards breakfast, you get a punch on the card,” said Schmidt.

Schmidt also talked about involving Point Perk in the curriculum of select marketing classes to provide students with hands on experience booking venues. 

Even without planned events, Point Perk’s coffee alone attracts a large number of students daily.

Tyeisha Walker has been an employee of CulinArt for the past two years and now specializes as a barista for the coffee shop.

“I like getting to know everybody and just interacting with the students,” Walker said. “That’s my favorite part of the job.”