case western reserve university



Sages Café Now Serving Up Information With a Gourmet Flair


Case’s College of Arts and Sciences has begun serving up information along with gourmet coffee and food in a new campus hangout—the SAGES Café in Crawford Hall. The café serves as the gateway to SAGES Central, the headquarters for Case's major undergraduate initiative, the Seminar Approach to General Education and Scholarship.

The concept for the new café came from Arts and Sciences Dean Mark Turner. He envisioned warming and transforming the cold, forbidding marble entrance of the 1960s building by adding lounge areas, tables, and refreshments. The idea was to encourage intellectual and social conversations among students, faculty and staff—especially as they make their way to and from SAGES' administrative offices, work spaces for visiting seminar leaders, or the glass-walled seminar room that dominates one side of SAGES Central.

From the inception of the design process in March 2004 until the project's completion earlier this fall, Ken Klika, director of facilities management for Arts and Sciences, managed the transformation of the space.

Klika, who was recently named an assistant dean, describes the new facility as "a beacon" that shines through its glass walls and draws attention to the vibrant and energetic activities associated with SAGES.

Working closely with Klika was Vera Tobin, the College’s faculty and program development assistant. Tobin, who now oversees the café's daily operations, set out to create a space that would invite intellectual and social exchanges and quickly become an integral part of campus life.

Turner says that he plans to make SAGES Café his informal office, an alternative to the "corporate-like" atmosphere of the dean's suite on the seventh floor of Crawford Hall. His fondness for a coffeehouse setting dates back to his undergraduate and graduate years at the University of California Berkeley—a fact that helps explain why the café sells Peet's Coffee and Teas. The self-proclaimed "grandfather of specialty coffee," Peet's first opened for business in 1966 at Walnut and Vine Streets in Berkeley. SAGES Café is the only Ohio outlet to offer Peet's world-famous gourmet products.

While coffee may top the menu, the café also serves up information on SAGES, the campus and the Cleveland area through its baristas—otherwise known as "sagistas"—another important feature of the new eatery. Case alumnae Loretta Neal (B.A., history and environmental studies, ’04) and Rebecca "Kapika" Kaaikaula (B.A., political science, ’05) are prepared to answer questions from customers, and also from visitors to the SAGES website who contact them by phone or email. (During down time at the café, you will notice the sagistas at work at a wireless computer alongside the cash register.)

SAGES Café is a short walk from the Office of Undergraduate Enrollment, which provides campus tours to prospective students and parents. Its new signage is certain to attract patrons from Severance Hall and other University Circle institutions, and establish a presence for the café in the Euclid Corridor development.

SAGES Café is open weekdays, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. It has already become a site for private and public receptions in Arts and Sciences, and when warm weather returns, the new side doors will open freely onto the Crawford terraces for outdoor gatherings. During special College events, Turner plans to don a SAGES apron and delight in serving up cappuccinos and other drinks for his guests.

To learn more about SAGES and SAGES Central, visit


About Case Western Reserve University

Case is among the nation's leading research institutions. Founded in 1826 and shaped by the unique merger of the Case Institute of Technology and Western Reserve University, Case is distinguished by its strengths in education, research, service, and experiential learning. Located in Cleveland, Case offers nationally recognized programs in the Arts and Sciences, Dental Medicine, Engineering, Law, Management, Medicine, Nursing, and Social Work.