Update on Campus Coffee – Aldersgate Reimagined

Our very own Portico Café will be making its first appearance in our new pop-up coffee shop on April 24! They will swivel and swirl their coffee cart around the campus to reach more people with conversation and connection through their fabulous coffee. 
If you’ve been at Hyde Park a long time, you’ll remember that the original entrance to the sanctuary was off of Platt Street. Back then the primary gathering area was in what is now the memorial garden, located right across from the coffee shop. At that time, the coffee shop in Knox Hall was a great location to gather. 
With the Wesley Center opening in 1999 and the turn of the sanctuary toward the courtyard in 2002, our congregation began gathering in the courtyard. We began using five entrances on four sides of our campus. The coffee shop that was once right off the main gathering area was now out of the way and foot traffic greatly reduced.
In order to continue to welcome all people to the campus, we are reimagining ways to offer hospitality to everyone. The Portico Pop-Up Coffee Shop takes the coffee from inside Knox Hall and brings it to the congregation where they are: outside in the Courtyard or by the Harnish Center. We will bring the coffee to you!
For those of you who are new to the Portico Café, let me share a little of their story. The Portico Cafe offers people transitioning out of homelessness, addiction and incarceration opportunities for job training, employment and safe affordable housing. The Cafe is a social enterprise. When you make a purchase through The Cafe, you help build a bridge from brokenness to restoration. Yet another way you can make God’s Love Real each and every week!
Please welcome our new team members in a few weeks by stopping by for a coffee.
Q & A:
  1. Why does the Aldersgate Coffee Shop need to close?

(A. Declining foot traffic and sales-pre-pandemic)


  1. Who made the decision?

(A. Coffeshop management and volunteers, along with key support staff)


  1. Why was there declining sales and foot traffic?

(A. For decades, the memorial garden was a heavily trafficked area, since many people came onto the campus off Platt Street, especially when the sanctuary entrance was off Platt. Since the renovation of the sanctuary, and subsequent, recent changes to the campus, much of the foot traffic comes from multiple points onto the Platt block, especially from the Magnolia parking lot to the south.)


  1. What is the plan for the coffee shop space?

(A. The Aldersgate space will still be open as a place for gathering and borrowing books)


  1. What about where we can buy books and resources for small groups?

(A. Call Kim Harcrow at the front desk, and she can help you order from our Hyde Park Amazon Shop.)


  1. What does the future hold for gathering and fellowship at the Hyde Park Campus?

(A. The Facilities Task Force is looking at new, creative ways for people to gather in between and after services, and to have coffee together.)


  1. Who can we celebrate for the amazing ministry of Aldersgate over the years?

(A. Key leaders over the years include Jeff Freeman, Kim Harcrow, Larinda Smith, Anne Cloar, and countless volunteers and leaders. Thank you!)

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