The Point — a new place to meet and eat for CMU students in Grand Junction
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The Point aims to be an affordable dining option with main dishes coming in around $7. Appetizers range from $3-7, Colorado-brewed beer is $3-4, local wine is $6, and coffee is $1-4 (depending on if you bring in your own mug).
Main dish options include salad, flat-bread pizza or a rice bowl with toppings like Thai, Greek or buffalo chicken. Appetizers include edamame, nachos and cheese sticks.
The Point, Grand Junction’s newest pub and restaurant at 1230 N. 12th St. (next to the Pita Pit), is more than just a place to grab a meal and a beer off-campus. It’s a chance for Colorado Mesa University students to gain real-life work experience in an independent business setting.
And with peppy, light-hearted music and a colorful, artsy interior, The Point officially opened for business Tuesday, Oct. 22. The student hot spot serves lunch and dinner, beer, wine and coffee. It will accept student meal plans, credit cards and cash. Free WiFi is available for everyone, and live music is part of the plan. Plus, it’s an education-centered environment meant to generate creative ideas.
“It’s a point where all good things come together,” CMU business instructor Georgann Jouflas said, which is how The Point got its name.
The off-campus gathering place is also completely student-run, with Jouflas only acting as faculty advisor to six student managers and 22 employees.
The Point’s General Manager Johnny Nitti noted that all students on staff have their own areas of expertise, and part of the learning experience is coming together as a team. For example, culinary students run the kitchen, student art decorates the walls, managers are all business majors, etc.
Nitti, a 21-year-old CMU senior majoring in entrepreneurship, began developing The Point plan as part of Jouflas’ small business consulting class last spring. Students also participated in a credit course over the summer, which entailed applying for The Point’s liquor license and learning to operate the restaurant’s point-of-sales system.
“This is my first time managing,” Nitti added. “Training was fun, but it was also really tough.”
That’s because students are gaining firsthand experience navigating the ups and downs of running a small business, in which they’re learning on their feet and problem-solving outside the classroom.
New employee Michelle Burch, a 21-year-old exercise science major, said she’s excited to be part of The Point because it gives her the opportunity to learn and help others by serving them coffee, for instance.
“I wanted the opportunity to help someone have a good day,” Burch said.
And though CMU’s Associated Student Government provided $50,000 in start-up funding for equipment and other costs, The Point is considered separate from campus and it must support itself moving forward.
“We would love to have community involvement, too,” Jouflas noted. “Everyone is welcome. It’s not just for student use.”
Besides plenty of seating in the main restaurant area, there’s also a meeting room in the back available by reservation.
Business hours are seven days a week from 11 a.m. to midnight Sunday through Thursday, and 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.
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