On campus entertainment for college students can be traced through several decades from the Eat Shop begun in the 1920s, to the Keller (1970s-1998), and finally to the Kellogg Center opened in 1998. Opening of new venues coincided with closing of earlier ones.
Closing of the Eat Shop coincided with opening of the Keller. Located under the cement stairs in front of Baldwin Hall, this provided a popular place for students to meet for a burger and soda, and to socialize and to briefly escape the pressures of college life. Features most remembered were the dim lights, booths lining the walls, and murals painted over the booths.
When Baldwin Hall was renovated from 1999-2000 the Keller was designated for use as a storage room. The recently completed Kellogg Center was designated to replace the Keller. Though a wonderful new and and attractive building, the Kellogg Center lacked the ambiance of the Keller or the Eat Shop before it.
Booths from the original Eat Shop were installed on the second floor of the Kellogg Center where a made to order restaurant is located, but the big, open, and bright space lacked some of the ambiance of the more dark, rustic, and crowded spaces it sought to replace.
Albion’s Student Senate made an effort to bring back the Keller in Fall 2000. Administrators cited a $900,000 price tag for renovations and blocked the plan. They did respond one year later by attempting to make space in the Kellogg Center more attractive for social functions. Still, the ambiance of the Eat Shop is gone forever with its demolition, and the Keller has been converted to inglorious use as a storage room despite so many wonderful memories gathered here during its nearly 30 years of operation.
Source: Isaac Kremer, January 2004.