September 1, 2017

Starting this fall, food and beverage services will be available again in the Maggie Benston Centre on Burnaby Campus thanks to a newly signed agreement between the Simon Fraser Student Society (SFSS) and Simon Fraser University (SFU).

The SFSS and SFU are pleased to announce an agreement has been reached for SFSS to transfer the food and beverage spaces and assets in the Maggie Benston Centre (MBC) to SFU.

The space surrender agreement, effective August 31st, includes the following spaces: Highland Pub, Higher Grounds Coffee Shop, MBC Food Court, and the catering kitchen.

SFU intends to have a coffee shop open early this fall, and to have the Highland space open in early 2018. Students, however, can anticipate access to the former Highland space to hold pub nights and social events as early as October 2017.

SFU will be inviting students, faculty and staff to participate in a consultation process regarding the future menu and design of the former Highland space. SFSS President Hangue Kim states that student consultation and the ability for SFSS and SFSS-officially recognized groups to book the former Highlands space without a rental charge, were important details for the SFSS to include in the deal.

“Highland, the Higher Grounds Coffee Shop and the MBC Food Court were at the heart of the Burnaby Campus and played an important role in creating a great campus experience. Our desire is to see contemporary food, beverage and dining options, and to create vibrant spaces, enabling students, faculty and staff to meet, socialize and share memorable experiences,” says Mark McLaughlin, Executive Director, SFU Ancillary Services. “Our next step is to select an operator to deliver on our vision.”

The SFSS permanently closed its food and beverage operations on June 15th. This included the Highland Pub, Higher Grounds Coffee Shop, the Ladle and catering services due to on-going operational deficits.

“We want to recognize the leadership efforts of the previous Board members in regards to these operations,” says Kim. “Choosing to close food and beverage operations was a tough decision, but it was the right one to make based on the losses that accrued over many years.”

The SFSS Board of Directors began exploring alternative options at the beginning of their new term in April. “We believe that SFU has the vision and campus resources to make this a reality and are confident in their ability to find the right operator,” says Kim.


Other key features of the agreement include:

–     SFSS receiving $450,000 from SFU for the value of the assets
–     SFU committing $250,000 for renovations to the space
–     SFSS receiving payments for 10 years of a percentage of MBC Food Court leases
–     Preferring small and local operators as tenants in the food court space

Points of contact:

Hangue Kim
SFSS President

Mark McLaughlin
Executive Director, SFU Ancillary Services