The Keep Cottage - or just Keep - is located on 154 North Main Street, just a block from the art buildings and across the parking lot behind Stevenson dining hall. Keep houses 53 students and feeds around an additional 16 dining-only co-opers. The basement is home to the Oberlin Bike Co-op as well, a place for both college and community alike to fix and build bikes for free. So it’s a convenient location if you’re an adamant biker. While Keep is not a vegetarian co-op, meat isn’t usually served more than once a week, and vegan and vegetarian options are always available at every meal.
A larger ratio of new students to upperclassman than other co-ops makes it so that Keep is known to be one of the most welcoming communities on campus. Keep is an inclusive and friendly co-op for eating, living, or just hanging out. With a comfortable living-room space, you can often find members spending time together throughout the day. With a porch, lawn, (and porch swing!), many members eat outside on sunny days. Keep does not provide tables or chairs, so members eat on couches, or sit on the ground. The layout of the co-op and serving space can make serving food a difficult task, but membership implements various policies each semester to ensure that getting food is as accessible as possible. Certain members have raised issue with the fact that not having chairs and tables can be difficult for individuals with certain physical constraints.
Overall, Keep offers a place to feel at home that is dedicated to excellent, nutritious food (complete with a wall for cooking tips and food comments), kind souls, music, circus ‘arts,’ bicycles, vegan desserts, great bagels and general good cheer. One wall is dedicated as a “wall of appreciation” where people write appreciative notes for one another.
The inherent relaxed feeling to Keep is bolstered by people that truly care about the democratic process. For most decision making, there is a consistent and thoughtful dialog which deters apathy. Overall, Keep offers a place to feel at home that is dedicated to excellent, nutritious food kind souls, acoustic music, bicycles, vegan desserts, and general good cheer.
The Bike-Coop is located in Keep’s basement, so it’s a convenient location if you’re an adamant biker. Keep was opened in 1965, Oberlin’s third Co-op.
— Glennon Beresin, Charlie Thompson ‘19 and Maia Ross Trupin '18