Students traveling across the Tawes Plaza will soon be able to grab a snack in the new cafe opening in Tawes Hall.

Dining Services will open Creative Commons, a cafe, in April, Dining Services spokesman Bart Hipple said. The space is under construction on the lower level of Tawes, which houses the American studies and English departments, and is committed to opening before Maryland Day on April 30.

“It’s a cute little place,” Hipple said. “We’re really looking forward to it.”

Creative Commons will join the 11 other cafes housed in academic buildings across the campus. This cafe will serve similar snacks and drinks such as coffee, soda and cereal bars, among others, and will accept Terp Bucks this semester and dining dollars — in accordance with the new dining plan — in the fall, he said.

Current locations of existing cafes on campus, as well as cafes currently being constructed. (Graphic by Julia Lerner/ The Diamondback)

As Dining Services prepares to switch over to the anytime dining program next semester, it will also encourage students to use these cafes, instead of the dining halls, as social spaces, said Colleen Wright-Riva, Dining Services director. Creative Commons will serve this purpose by extending into an open area of tables and chairs, which will accommodate students who want to study or talk with friends.

“That’s one of the dilemmas of [a lack of social space in dining halls],” Wright-Riva said at the Residence Hall Association town hall on March 8. “We will have to try and find more social spaces in the cafes and encourage that.”

The dining halls will no longer be accessible for studying or socializing for many students because customers will be required to scan their hands or pay a fee upon entry. Students who currently use the dining halls to meet up with friends will have to use other locations, unless they have a dining plan.

Creative Commons will be the first cafe to open in the buildings surrounding Tawes Plaza, making it convenient for students who have classes in the Benjamin Building, the Art-Sociology Building and Tawes.

“I spend a lot of time in the Benjamin Building, so it would be good for me because anywhere in the plaza is convenient for me to get food,” said junior education major Gabrielle Simala.

Dining Services also plans to open another cafe within the year in the renovated H.J. Patterson Hall, which will house the Office of International Affairs, Hipple said.

Junior elementary education major Victoria Graw said she wishes there were more of these smaller cafes on the campus in academic buildings.

“There’s going to be an Asian-themed cafe in [H.J. Patterson Hall], which is a little different for us,” Hipple said. “A huge international community is there and they have requested that kind of a cafe.”