Rod’s: A Not-So-Hidden Gem


Rodrigue’s Coffee House is a great place for meeting new people. (Courtesy of Pia Fischetti/The Fordham Ram)

During my freshman year at Fordham, Rodrigue’s Coffee House seemed like an enigma. It was right next to my dorm room at Loschert, yet for a while I never imagined myself going inside. The “vibe” I had created in my own head was that of alternative, cool, old-head type people who I felt slightly intimidated by. Fine, very intimidated. 

But when my roommate signed up for an open mic night, I faced my irrational fear and sat cross-legged in a crowd of dozens of very non-intimidating Fordham students. Granted, I knew almost none of them besides the people I came with, but there’s something so college about watching open mic night on the floor of a small café.

I soon discovered that the people who go to Rod’s are not cool in an exclusive, high school popularity way but are welcoming individuals who appreciate Rods for the gem it is and want others to have the same experiences. There is something charming about that new friend in your English class serving you coffee in a café decorated by people in your French class. 

As a freshman, it was much less awkward to initiate conversations in this environment than by tapping on someone’s shoulder and asking them for their Instagram in hushed tones. Whether it’s intentional or not, Rod’s depicts a college life that I think many students who flee to NYC yearn to experience. Rod’s has the desired edge and spunk but remains accessible and welcoming, bringing Fordham some needed variety. 

There are many places around campus to do homework, spend time with friends or do pretty much anything else. Since there isn’t really a dedicated student center where you can eat, do homework, talk and sit comfortably at the same time, Rod’s can be the go-to place if you want to multitask. It has a less academic and rigid feeling than the library — which, granted, can come in handy during times like midterms and finals — so you get work done without the pressure of forced silence.

Rod’s is also great because it’s practically all students, all the time. This serves as a great escape from coaches, professors or any other authoritative figures around campus. It’s also the perfect place to be bold during a time like freshman year where you might feel intense pressure to fit in.

From being able to showcase your talents at open mic night (with absolutely no judgement, I might add) to hearing underground bands perform or just talking to students you only vaguely know, Rod’s is a place for growth as much as it is for coffee. 

No matter where you are in your Fordham journey, make sure to visit Rod’s at least once. Even if it’s not a place for you, it can be an easier way of stepping out of your comfort zone than joining the mock trial team or auditioning for an a capella group. But I’m sure anyone can find a way to be part of the community at Rod’s; just step inside and an opportunity is sure to present itself.