Southeast Missouri State University student publication

STĀ permanently closes doors early due to COVID-19 concerns

Thursday, April 16, 2020
Photo submitted by Sara Johnson

A local coffee shop frequented by Southeast students closed its doors permanently due to financial struggles and COVID-19 concerns on March 18.

The STĀ coffee shop originally planned to shut down at the end of the spring 2020 semester because of financial issues, but the impact of COVID-19 on the Cape Girardeau community led to its early closure.

STĀ, which opened in 2016, was in partnership with St. Andrew Lutheran Church on Cape Rock Drive. St. Andrew is currently providing online live stream Bible study, prayer and worship amid the stay-home order and will open its doors back up when it is safe for people to gather.

Owner Julie Malone said she loved the shop and the decision to close the shop was anything but easy.

“We were happy that we could serve the community for as long as we did, but financially we just couldn’t stay open any longer,” Malone said. “We want to thank all of the students who did frequent STĀ.”

Southeast senior Sara Johnson worked at STĀ for around three and a half years and said she is saddened by the closure and for her fellow coworkers.

“I always looked forward to working there, it was never boring or stressful,” Johnson said. “Thankfully, I have a job lined up when I graduate so I don’t have the added stress of finding a new job, but I’ve been worried about my coworkers and their job search and everything that’s going on.”

Previous employee Rachal Urhahn said STĀ was like a second home and to her, there is no other coffee shop like it.

“I formed so many meaningful relationships through working there,” Urhahn said. “I’ll miss seeing all the students who would come in, open their Bibles and rest their heads down to pray. I was so inspired whenever I first witnessed it — so many of our customers consider STĀ their safe space.”

Sophomore Nicolette Baker visited the shop frequently and said she feels Southeast will now be missing a great work environment that was off-campus.

“I feel like now we’re missing a spot close to campus to relax and focus,” Baker said. “The closest spots now are downtown, which takes 20 minutes to reach by shuttle or walking.”

Senior Rachel Redfairn said she is sad the shop has closed and feels that it was a perfect place right off campus.

“When my family or friends would visit, we would get coffee at STĀ because I felt like they were getting to experience one of my favorite places in Cape,” Redfairn said.