Students conflict with Tu Mercado’s opening hours


The University of San Diego plays host to many dining locations. One of the most sought out places on campus is Tu Mercado, more fondly known as Tu Merc. Tu Merc offers students a range of produce, grocery goods, dorm accessories, and perhaps most importantly, coffee.

Some students believe that Tu Merc’s hours of operation are not lenient enough for early risers, or as they are sometimes called, the morning birds.

Simply put, Tu Mercado is useful for many things and many students, but unfortunately some students want their coffee or tea before their 7:45 a.m. classes—especially students that live on the east side of campus.

Currently, Tu Mercado is open Monday through Sunday, from 8 a.m – 11 p.m.

There are other places on campus and in the Linda Vista area where one can get a morning snack and get their coffee fix, such as La Paloma and Aromas.

Both of these locations are open at 7 a.m. Monday through Friday. For those with a car, Starbucks is also right down the street.

Missions Cafe is another option for coffee for those who live in the Valley, but it is does not open every day until 10 a.m.

Junior Max Cardinale shares his thoughts as a student commuter.

“Yeah I could see how opening Tu Mercado earlier would be helpful to students with early classes,” Cardinale said. “But, I’m never on campus that early. Also, it doesn’t help that Starbucks down the street doesn’t have a drive through.”

While the other cafes on campus supply coffee and food, only at Tu Mercado can a student get cold and cough medications, among other toiletries.

For those who have work and obligations on the east side of campus early in the morning, having Tu Mercado open earlier than 8 a.m. could be very helpful and could bring the store greater business, especially considering Mission Cafe’s late opening hours. This is pertinent to students living on campus and without a car.

Sophmore Alexis Murray is also a student commuter and expresses her frustration in regards to Tu Mercado’s hours of operations.

“It’s tough enough waking up early and commuting to campus Monday-Thursday,” Murray said. “It’s even harder going to school when I’m sick, especially when I’m trying to buy myself some cough drops at Tu Merc before my 8 a.m. class. I do wish they were open at least half an hour earlier.”

The issue isn’t that Tu Merc doesn’t carry all of the basic student essentials; rather, the issue is that students—both residents and commuters alike—cannot access Tu Merc’s goods and services early enough.

The earliest a student can get a coffee on the entire east side of campus is not until 8 a.m. at Tu Mercado, which is later than many students’ class schedules begin.

In addition to this, Tu Merc is also the first stop for many first year students that live in the Valley as well as for commuter students who park their cars in the east parking lot.

On the flipside, other students are more passive about the issue and seem to be unaffected by Tu Mercado’s store hours.

Senior Colton Michael Moore used to be an avid Tu Mercado shopper. Moore shared his thoughts on Tu Mercado’s hours.

“When I used to live on campus I would chose to have early classes,” Moore said. “Recently, I seem to not be affected as others might, but I can see why some students would like to have access to Tu Mercado earlier than their first class.”

It is not 100 percent certain that Tu Mercado will open half an hour earlier or if it would even solve student inconvenience.

What is certain, is that USD overall dining at USD    has received national rankings and awards for excellence in university dining.

USD hires culinary mavericks from a variety of renowned institutions which include The Art Institute and Johnson and Wales University.

Nevertheless, students can continue to enjoy eating at the various locations on campus, as campus dining  has been ranked #17 nationwide for best campus food according to Niche Rankings.