By Fabian Mayer, September 3 2015 —
The Den is set to reopen at the start of the fall semester after being closed for renovations this summer. The Students’ Union, who operates the Den, spent nearly $480,000 replacing the bar’s flooring, furniture and lighting fixtures.
SU vice-president operations and finance Sarah Pousette said the renovations went smoothly and that the Den will open Thursday, Sept. 3. Pousette is pleased with how the Den’s facelift turned out.
“The biggest thing that I saw is when you walk in it feels really open. Before it always kind of felt like you were walking into a cave,” Pousette said.
The revamped campus bar will feature communal beer-hall style tables and a new colour scheme. Pousette said wall sockets or USB chargers were added to every table and that infographics on the history of students on campus now adorn the walls.
“All the tables, all the chairs, everything is going to be brand new in there and I think it’s going to give it a really new feel,” Pousette said.
Pousette hopes the renovations will result in increased business. A couple of new menu items, including a chicken waffle burger, will be introduced to go along with the new look.
“The goal was really to have students feel like it was their place again — a place they really wanted to be,” Pousette said.
The weekly student appreciation nights known as “Thursden” will remain the same, though Pousette hinted that the SU may try out some new events in the future.
“With the space being renovated it does give us a lot more opportunity to do new things with it. We’ll be exploring those as the year goes forward,” Pousette said.
A new SU-run MacHall food vendor also opened this week. La Taqueria is a food truck-style taco vendor operating in the space previously occupied by Smoke’s Poutinerie, which closed in the spring.
La Taqueria offers halal, vegan and gluten-free options — something Pousette says was an important part of the concept.
“It has to be an option that students haven’t had available to them and secondly, it has to address some of the concerns that we hear from students,” Pousette said.
This is the first time the SU has ever operated a food vendor in MacHall.