Senior Melissa Kuisle, Pause coordinator and head of the committee planning the project, envisions the space as an area where students can eat, socialize, perform and listen to music played by fellow students. A stage will be set up in the far left corner of the room and booths will occupy the remaining walls. The idea behind the Lions Lair is to provide additional seating for customers of the Pause kitchen and a new, cozy venue for St. Olaf student performers. The closing of the Thorson coffee house at the end of last year left many students searching for a place in which to showcase their music. Students find booking the Pause stage difficult, and its large size is less than ideal for individual acoustic musicians. The setting and stage of the Lions Lair, which will be constructed specifically for small groups and solo shows, are two factors benefiting student musicians.
Located in the center of campus and surrounded by the activity of the pool room, the Lions Pause, the Den and the kitchen, the Lions Lair is sure to have visitors and an audience.
Sophomore Sarah Kolb, who works in the Pause kitchen, has positive expectations for the project. The area around the Pause can get really crowded, especially in the evenings when the counter is needed for the pizzas that are ready for delivery, she said. The new Lions Lair will be a great alternative to hanging out in front of the kitchen, and it sounds like its going to have a really fun atmosphere.
The room will remain open as a student lounge during the day, with scheduled performances in the evening. The Pause committee is looking into the possibility of booking some smaller professional artists as well as student talent.
Other ideas for the room, which has housed arcade games since the opening of Buntrock, included a dining area, a coffee house and an expansion of the Pause kitchen. The committee rejected the latter two due to lack of adequate space and decided to combine the ideas of a dining area and a stage to create a room with multiple functions.
So when will this exciting new venue open?
Things are in the works, Kuisle said. The room concept has been agreed upon and the builders have been contacted. The committee plans to have the Lions Lair running next year, and is hoping that it may even be ready by the end of this year