Cream-colored walls. Booths with adjustable warm lighting. Food that you could get literally anywhere else on campus. A “self-checkout” screen that’s just the normal checkout screen trained UVM dining cashiers use. An outdoor seating area in the hallway so you can sip your lukewarm Speeder and Earl’s with a view of the UVM Financial Services offices. Operating hours exclusively while you are in class. The Waterman Café was truly one of UVM’s most liminal spaces.
And yet, for reasons beyond my fathoming, UVM dining has chosen to destroy this haven in favor of the hip new “Waterman Market”. Brought to you by the minds that thought it would be a good idea to close the Wonton station in the Marché, the eerie Café currently stands as a gutted interior construction site with no future reopening date for the newly rebranded “Market” in sight. Current freshmen will never get the opportunity to experience the strange little nook of the Waterman basement that could barely even be called a “café”.
And think of the Jeanne-Mance kids! This was their closest food source on campus! Where are they supposed to go now? The mythical “Twelve” market in their lobby, which, as described by an inside source who asked to remain anonymous, is “like a 7-11 but there’s no food or drink or anything because maintenance doesn’t believe in restocking”? Make them walk 7 minutes to Central Campus Dining?? When I lived in CCRH the food was so disappointing it wasn’t even worth it for me to walk down two flights of stairs to get to it. Why are we making a poor Jeanne-Mance gamer walk that far when they could have been stealing a premade stale york street wrap from the Café! (again, only self-checkout with no worker in sight. It’s basically free real estate, like Cat Pause at rush hour between classes)
I would like to take this moment to mourn our beloved, departed Waterman Café. In its absence, I will be trying and failing to recreate the sense of unreality and wait where am i am i even at UVM right now feeling that place gave by eating smuggled dining hall food on the weird red lounge couch in the Waterman 5th floor women’s bathroom, but it just won’t be the same.