In a surprising turn of events for Cornell eateries, the management of Weill Hall facilities has announced the impending closure of Synapsis Café, effective May of this year. The space will be converted into new administrative and lab spaces for the bioengineering department. Construction will begin in Summer 2017.
The beloved eatery churns out an array of piping hot grilled cheeses and flatbreads each day and is known as one of the prime smoothie spots on campus. Located in Weill Hall amidst Mann Library, Teagle Hall and the various athletic fields, Synapsis is frequented by a wide range of students but, since its opening in Summer 2008, it has become a hotspot for biological sciences and engineering students and faculty as well as student-athletes and coaches.
Given the heavy traffic through this eatery during weekday lunch hours, the decision was a difficult one, according to Weill Hall facilities director Todd Pfeiffer. Talks of shutting Synapsis’ doors ultimately reached the Office of the Provost before the university came to the conclusion that Weill Hall could greatly benefit from expanded administrative and academic space. Synapsis Café will be converted into office space for the Meinig School of Biomedical Engineering, while current storage space in the building will be transformed into new lab space for students and researchers.
News of Synapsis closing down has been met with surprise from many students. Long-time patron Timothy Krausz ’17 gave high praise for Synapsis, saying that, “even if my lab wasn’t next door to Synapsis, I would still go out of my way for the all-day breakfast burritos and coffee — the best coffee on campus.” Rachel Gandler ’17, who attends many classes on the Ag Quad, echoed Timothy’s praise, remarking that, “it’s the most convenient place to eat in a part of campus that doesn’t have many food options.”
Popular opinion from the student body suggests the demand for more food options trumps the demand for more academic space, which is not surprising given the notoriety of Cornell dining and shortage of dining options in Synapsis’ general area. However, students and faculty of Weill Hall can expect immediate benefits from the upgrades and increased space dedicated to the biomedical engineering department as a result of Synapsis’ closure. Regardless of future developments, Synapsis will be missed for both its food and convenience.