New Den has lost its old cachet

By Hadija Gabunga

Has anyone noticed how the new Den is suddenly a haven for all the “pretty” people that shop at Le Chateau? I’m all for progress and moving with the times, but I didn’t know I had to make a stop at “Le Crapeau” to pick up stilettos so I could make my way to the Den on a Thursday night.

The unkempt hair, five o’clock shadows and hoodies of Rez kids and overworked students alike augmented the old Den’s grubby appeal. The sleek new digs–carpet-free and oh-so-shiny–are now complemented by all new, squeaky-clean patrons.

Those of us who’ve been here for a couple of years agree that it’s not quite the old Den. I just want to know: where did the cheesy bar star crowd and all the misled fresh meat, who know nothing about the good old Den, come from?

Here’s the deal: I am correct to say that the Den, regardless of it’s new look, equals sweats, an old grubby T-shirt and their associated connotations. Sure there’s a new, recently renovated appeal. I’m glad my days of sticking to the old Den carpet floor are over. But why did the old vibe get renovated too?

It’s a little much when Barbie and Ken crash the party. By the end of the night, Barbie’s falling down the stairs–her lip gloss in one hand and her stilettos in the other.

It’s been a couple of weeks since it opened, and the new Den will definitely put up competition for other pubs and bars in Calgary. More than anything it will pack up, weekday or weekend, with inebriated first year Rez kids who haven’t quite figured out that one beer can still make any Thursday night just as memorable.

Change is inevitable. What made the old Den a place nothing like the Palace or even the late Max’s, wasn’t its sticky carpet, its tiny dance floor, its cheap beer, or the sardine you became by night’s end. It’s not even the pure comfort of your favourite pair of old sweats. The old Den was a place where you met up with your friends on any a random afternoon, to have a beer after a much regrettable Chem or Poli Sci midterm. It was a place where you wouldn’t find Barbie waving her lip gloss around or Ken flaunting his new Gucci watch.

They did a good job with the renovations. The Den looks great, and there is plenty of room for everyone, as much as most would beg to differ. But what happened to the casual vibe the old Den had? Am I doomed to two more years at the University of Calgary dressed in knee-high leather boots, a Britney Spears T-shirt and the ever popular fluorescent, strawberry-flavoured lip gloss every Thursday night?

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