Jeans, denim jackets and everything washed-out blue filled Scripps College’s Seal Court last week with the highly anticipated opening of the Motley Coffeehouse — the Jopening. With live music by the student band Tea Room and vendors set up around Seal Court, students across the 5Cs wandered into the Motley on Jan. 10 for their first Motley drink of the spring semester.
“This year has been a lot about opening the Motley and getting it back on its feet after COVID,” one of the Motley managers, Nayla Dyal SC ’25 said.
It’s hard to imagine Scripps without its beloved coffeehouse, so after the first post-pandemic opening in September, many flooded to Seal Court excited for its return. This opening, although with a smaller turnout than in the fall, still brought many into the Motley, including Diana Reiss SC ’25.
“[The Motley] is a place full of joy, fun and community,” Reiss said, “and I think that the opening night is all of that in one.”
With booths around Seal Court receiving all of the money they make directly, the Motley continued to establish their community values.
This is not the first time the Motley has provided spaces for student artists. Last semester, students had the chance to display and sell their products inside the café. Having all of the vendors present on the opening night was a way of welcoming back them and enthusiastic buyers to the coffeehouse.
“[The Motley] is a place full of joy, fun and community, and I think that the opening night is all of that in one.”
Dyal added that “everyone is contributing so much; it’s this really big collective team effort.”
Those attending contributed to the theme of the night with their denim attire. The theme, although extremely fun for those attending, also reflects the student-centered experience that the Motley consistently prioritizes.
According to Dyal, the Motley managers wanted to pick an accessible theme with “something anybody can wear,” and above all, “just fun.”
Paired with fun jean-themed drinks such as Iced Boots with the Fur, Joffee, Daisy Duke and many more, denim was fully embraced by everyone attending.
Despite the energy of the night, less people attended this opening than last semester’s.
“We had a smaller turnout,” Dyal said, “but I think that’s a good thing because it helps the baristas and managers have a better time so they aren’t stressed [and] rushing to get everyone’s drinks.”
Last semester’s opening had a line all the way to Vita Nova, with many anticipating the chance to go inside the Met Gala themed coffeehouse. With lavish dresses and celebrity cutouts, the event emitted a buzz everyone was excited for.
This semester’s opening had a very different feel as many wandered in and out throughout the night, enjoying the live music, dancing and exploring the booths.
Reiss explained that “people already know [the Motley] as a community institution… so it’s more of a return.”
Despite the differences, each opening had fun events to offer.
“I liked this one better, [there were] way more booths [and]more fun. They always do a good job,” Isabella Cabsi PO ’23 said.
The Motley is a staple for anyone on the 5C campuses. As a space for people to gather, the first month without Motley drinks and the cozy work environment aggravated anyone who tried to open the locked doors.
Frances Stokes SC ’23 said that “people come in [to the Motley], hangout, drink coffee, do work inside or outside and it’s just a good vibe.”
The days following the opening have led to a very packed yet familiar Motley that many love and missed. The opening was an all-out denim hit that allowed for anyone to wander in and enjoy a fun stop during their Friday night festivities.
Reiss emphasized that “the Motley is the heart of Scripps and not only is it a part of Scripps, but it brings everyone from the 5Cs together.”