Den future uncertain

A n upcoming phase of redevelopment of MacEwan Hall may threaten the existence of the Den, according to plans in the Students’ Union’s possession.

SU Vice-president Operations and Finance Amanda Affonso acknowledged the SU’s intention to move Max’s Café from its current location and relocate as a multi-level bar and restaurant in and below the current location of the Black Lounge.

"It’s going to be a two-storey venue with different rooms," she said. "There’ll be a dance floor, of course. What we want to do is accommodate different groups in there at the same time, so we could have a club meeting upstairs and downstairs have a cabaret going on. We’ll be able to accommodate more students this way."

These plans were finalized in the middle of last year.

"We’ve only done the final details this last year," said Affonso. "During the summer everything was pretty much committed to and confirmed as far as the structure of what [the new] Max’s is going to look like."

The Den is currently owned by University Food Services. Max’s Café, its major competitor, is owned by the SU.

Affonso admitted the creation of the new Max’s will affect current tenants of the MacEwan Hall basement such as the Campus Cove, Copy Centre and the Den. However, it is only the Den whose future on the U of C campus is not assured.

Affonso stated that the Copy Centre will move to the second floor of MacEwan Student Centre in a location currently occupied by Taco Time while the Campus Cove is less likely to move. The space currently occupied by the Den is directly in the line of upcoming redevelopment, but as to whether the Den will relocate or cease to exist, Affonso was unsure.

"That’s for the university to discuss," she said. "With the Den, it’s up to the university what they want to do with it, if they want to keep the bar there or relocate it."

University of Calgary Director of Ancillary Services Peter Fraser confirmed the U of C is in negotiations with the SU over areas currently affected by redevelopment.

"As of this exact second, the Den is being operated by the University of Calgary," said Fraser. "Tomorrow it will still be operated by the U of C. Next week it will still be operated by the U of C. We’re negotiating and the SU has expressed some wishes to us and we’re trying to see if there’s a win-win situation for us there."

Fraser said he cannot yet confirm what will happen to the Den in the face of Max’s relocation, adding that expansion is a very complicated deal.

"The end result will be very positive for students, I’ll tell you that," said Fraser. "We’re probably three weeks away from me making any comment to [students]."

Affonso invited any students to come to the SU office and see the SU’s plans for redevelopment in the Black Lounge and basement of MacEwan Hall.

"By all means, come on in and see what the plans look like," she said.

The SU offices are located in MacEwan Student Centre 251.

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