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ISSUE 120 VOL 2 PUBLISHED 9/29/2006

Larson Coffeehouse serves quick snacks, good times

By Kirstin Fawcett
Contributing Writer

Friday, September 29, 2006

Larson is a coveted residence hall for many a St. Olaf students, but why? The rooms are tiny, the halls convoluted, the dorm itself overcrowded and, oh yes, let's not forget the joy of having to walk up 12 stories of stairs when the elevator is broken or full. Despite a few pitfalls, Larson enjoys a high degree of popularity among students.

Larson's busy nightlife is bolstered by the presence of the Larson Coffeehouse, opened in 1985 by Larson's Hall Council. Since then, caffeine-fueled night owls who have won the room-draw lottery have been flocking to Larson's accommodating roost.

So why does Larson have an operating coffeehouse when none of the other dorms do?

Its proximity to many of the academic buildings and dorms on campus is one reason for its inclusion in Larson.

Located on the first floor, the Larson Coffeehouse's atmosphere is that of an intellectual watering hole, with dim lighting, round wooden tables, squishy armchairs and menus written on blackboards in colorful chalk. The walls are painted a forest green and at the far end of the room, a small stage beckons to all who wish to share their literary, comedic, or musical prowess with other patrons.

Although it is often unoccupied, the stage occasionally hosts a capella groups. Last year Isle of Lucy, a band consisting of former St. Olaf students, performed in the coffeehouse.

While the Larson Coffeehouse is a highly unpublicized food and entertainment venue, students can frequently be found there studying, socializing or simply enjoying a hot beverage every night of the week between 9 p.m. to 12 a.m., when the coffeehouse is open.

Recordings of local or campus bands play softly in the background. Student groups often utilize the coffeehouse for meetings and sporadically host special events.

Although the Larson Coffeehouse is no Starbucks (or Cage for that matter), it conveniently provides the work-weary student with an affordable caffeine and food fix. Beverage choices are plentiful, ranging from coffee or tea to Kool-Aid.

Food features consist of tasty snacks such as burritos, spiced noodles and nachos. Prices are reasonable; they ranging from 35 cents for a cup of tea to $1.50 for 10 pizza rolls or a quesadilla.

The Larson Coffeehouse may be most readily available for those who live in the dorm, but students from other residences are welcome to visit in the coffeehouse and soak in its comfortable atmosphere.

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