Concordia cafe reopens its free lunches at Loyola

The Loyola Hive Café is starting up a Meals on Wheels program

The Hive Café has started its Meals on Wheels program for the second time since the beginning of the pandemic, where their free lunch at the Loyola campus is to-go, and 25 meals are delivered to the downtown campus Hive Cafe.

The Hive Café is a student-run solidarity co-op that focuses on bringing healthy and affordable food to students. The location at the Loyola campus has a free lunch program to combat the food scarcity on campus.

“We decided to do our delivery meals because the campus was closed,” said Alanna Silver, the Free Lunch Administrative Coordinator at the Hive Café.

“We know there are some students who live close to campus or who may be on campus doing labs or research, so we wanted to provide free healthy meals to them.”

With the COVID-19 lockdown last year, the Free Lunch Program at Loyola had to adapt by doing to-go meals. This week, with school going back online, Meals on Wheels returns.

“This time around, we are delivering lunches only to our downtown cafe location for students studying at the SGW campus, and to Woodnote, the CSU’s housing community,” said Silver.

Silver said that students studying downtown can register on the Hive Free Lunch Facebook page, and that the program would deliver their meals to the SGW Hive Café everyday at 1 p.m.

“Since we just started our Meals on Wheels program, we’ve only had about 15 students register each week,” said Silver, who explained that they can serve 25 people at the downtown location.

The free lunch program has benefited many in the past, like Danny Faheem, a first-year psychology student, who’s been taking advantage of Hive Café on the Loyola campus,“I’m really happy the lunch program is back. Since there isn’t really any vegan food, or any food in general, on [the Loyola] campus, it really saved me last semester,” said Faheem, adding that he used to go almost everyday when open.

“We’ve had such a positive reaction from students, and the positive response on social media has been almost overwhelming,” said Silver. “We love what we do so we’re happy to be back.”

Silver explained that if campuses do not reopen for classes this semester, the program will be expanded to help more students.

“Not only are we doing the Meals on Wheels program, but we also did our winter food drive, we started a community art showcase for queer and BIPOC students, and we’re writing a recipe book with the most popular lunches we’ve served in the last year,” said Silver.

“We’re also in the process of making a cooking channel so people can watch how we make some of our favourite vegan recipes,” explained Silver. “We don’t just want to serve our lunches and then close the doors, we want to engage with the local and student community and fight food insecurity in every way we can.”


Graphic by James Fay

Student Life

Pista: Rosemont’s turquoise caffeine heaven

This trendy Rosemont café is the perfect blend of a cozy and classy experience

After visiting café Pista for the first time last week, I finally understood what all the hype was about. Upon entering the café on Beaubien Street in the Rosemont neighbourhood, I was met with a serene feeling I had never felt at any other café.

Sometimes, small neighbourhood cafés can feel a little too noisy, a little too crowded. At Pista, thanks to good acoustics and spaced out tables, the environment is quiet, welcoming and stress-free, even though there are usually many people.

Pista is located on the corner of Beaubien Street and Saint-Vallier Street. Photo by Danielle Gasher

I was served by a kind barista who recommended their most popular drink: the chai tea latté. It was delicious—creamy enough, with well-balanced sweetness. Pista’s service style adds to the laid-back feel. After ordering, the barista brings your hot beverage directly to your table. The coffee has a strong, nutty taste that seems to be quite common among numerous small cafés in the city.

The décor is an important part of the overall experience. While the space isn’t too big—approximately the size of a small Montreal apartment—it is well laid-out, with enough places to sit comfortably and study. The walls are a pale turquoise and covered with abstract artwork and a beautiful black-and-white Asian temple photograph next to the window. The ceiling is impressive, painted gold with church-like detailing. It brings together the modern and minimalistic aesthetic of the café, and the touch of antiqueness gives it added charm. The spot’s music is also a highlight. They play a lot of underground hip-hop and some jazzy tunes.

The spot sells classic café treats such as pastries, but also have a brunch and lunch menu. Photo by Danielle Gasher

The café is appropriate for study sessions, business lunches and coffee with friends. In the fall, the spot introduced a breakfast and lunch menu. The menu includes healthy options such as salads, soups and trendy breakfast classics like granola, poached eggs and avocado on toast, or toast with ricotta, honey, nuts and fruit. While affordable, the prices are not particularly low or student-friendly. The breakfast and lunch menu prices range from $3.50 for toast and jam to $12 for a smoked salmon bagel.

Pista could even be a go-to spot for a first date because of its laid-back vibe combined with its trendy and classy atmosphere and décor. At the same time, the long tables in the back are the perfect place to camp out for a few hours and get those readings done. All in all, I would highly recommend this unique café to all Concordia students seeking a classy and cozy place to study far from campus.

Café Pista

500 Beaubien Street East

Open weekdays from 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. and weekends from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

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