Renovations on tap at the MRU Liberty Lounge
by Bryce AJ Visser
The Liberty Lounge will never be the same. The Students’ Association of Mount Royal University is moving forward with its plans to renovate the Liberty Lounge over the summer. After the doors are closed in April, a kitchen and washrooms will be added to Mount Royal’s pub, along with a new atmosphere meant to fit MRU’s demographics.
“In all my conversations with students, they have indicated they want two things,” said Robert Jones, president of the SAMRU. “First was food and different types of food.
“This will make it easy to provide students with different options than what the vendors in Wyckham House provide.”
“Second was study space— more places to sit,” Jones added, explaining the new bar will be brighter and have conveniences such as laptop hookups to make it an attractive space for students to study during the day.
Jones said that the Lib’s new kitchen will be run by the students’ association, a move he said would be a risky venture, but one he was certain would benefit students in the long run: “We can be a lot more responsive to students in regards to prices and menus.
Marcy Fogal, executive director of the SAMRU, said there are fewer rules associated with food specials than with drink specials.
“We’re looking at having a daily special, each day of the week, which is some sort of comfort food,” she said, adding such foods were something students had been asking for.
A list of new foods being considered by the SAMRU include items such as shepherd’s pie, chicken pot pie, chili, and “homestyle” soups and stews.
An additional benefit of the new lounge, Jones said, is the new venue’s atmosphere, which will make MRU more attractive for artists of all kinds.
“This renovation will just increase the entire palate of what the Liberty Lounge can do,” he said.
One of the bigger aspects of the Liberty Lounge renovation may be the opportunity to change the pub’s name.
“It’s part of looking at all the changes happening here on campus,” Jones said. “Mount Royal changed its name to university, the SAMRC changed its name to SAMRU, so it just fit in to say ‘Hey, should we still call it the Liberty Lounge?’ ”
“We wanted to give it the due diligence we’ve given all our other rebranding,” Jones added.
However, students are currently divided over the name change.
“Why not?” asked Nicole MacKeigan. “Everything else is changing.”
“I hope it does change,” said Addison Asuchak. “The name Liberty Lounge has nothing to do with Mount Royal.”
“Why would we want to change it?” asked Jeff Lusis. “I personally like it the way it is.”
Meanwhile, Tyler Gregg said: “Liberty Lounge is a pretty good name. I don’t know how anyone would make it better.”
The new Lib will gain the area needed for the renovations by enclosing the upper area of the current outdoor smoking area outside of Wyckham House. The lower portion will remain an open deck for smoking.