Louis’ lovers, rejoice! Your favourite on-campus pub and eatery is going to look — and feel — a whole lot better this upcoming school year.
Louis’ Pub is currently undergoing renovations to reinvigorate the University of Saskatchewan’s primary watering hole. In Jan. 2017, the University Students’ Council passed a motion for the renovations with the intention of ensuring that the pub is meeting current regulations. Another component of this motion was dedicated to a decorative revival of sorts, which is currently underway.
The renovations begin at the entrance to the pub. The stairwell leading to Louis’ Pub has been given a new decal and the foyer at the bottom has received a tidier treatment. The private function room — the room behind the retractable wall — has notably been furnished with an attractive electric fireplace. Tables and counters throughout the pub are being refurbished with light-coloured butcher-style wood tops.
Additionally, the pub now features more lighting, which has greatly counteracted the dungeon-like atmosphere that most patrons have grown used to.
Perhaps the most notable renovation is the bar counter. Where once there was exposed plumbing and little functionality, there is now a sleek grey backsplash that compliments a widened countertop where patrons can sit.
At first glance, the aesthetic additions may not shatter any previous conceptions of the pub for returning patrons. Aside from the bar, there are few truly monumental changes. However, the small changes around the pub gives Louis’ a more cogent and professional impression.
Jesse Carlson, assistant manager at Louis’ Pub and Loft, spoke to the Sheaf about what the renovations could mean for students and staff alike.
“Louis’ is now going to be a place that students can sit and not be ashamed. It no longer feels like a cesspool,” Carlson said.
As for Louis’ staff, Carlson considers the renovations in Louis’ to be an opportunity for an increased focus on ambassadorship between staff and students.
Louis’ renovations are more than just a cosmetic and structural renewal, however. Louis’ Pub will sport a completely reimagined menu that will feature more vegan options. Additionally, students will see the return of a section focused on affordability. This menu will be finalized before the university’s fall term.
Louis’ Pub is also gaining new programming with the renovations. Carlson revealed that Louis’ has acquired several television sets and video game consoles that Louis’ staff will have available for patron use.
The stage has also been refitted with a permanent surface as well as a new sound equipment, which Carlson believes will enhance the concert experience at Louis’.
Carlson also ensures that classic programming like Toonie Tuesdays will persist.
Strata Development, the contractors for Louis’ renovations, quoted the project at $363,000. The USC granted an additional $100,000 for extra flexibility, money taken from the student contributed infrastructure fund.
Deena Kapacila, U of S Students’ Union vice-president operations and finance, told the Sheaf in an interview that Louis’ renovations is expected to be completed under budget. The official cost for the operation will be announced in early September.
Like Carlson, Kapacila believes that these renovations are intimately tied to the cultural significance that Louis’ Pub has at the U of S.
“Louis’ holds a lot of nostalgia for many people. Students had to fight for years for Louis’ to have a place on campus. There are so many strong feelings already connected to the bar, and we hope these renovations can maintain these feelings. At the end of the day, we are just trying to make the space better for students,” Kapacila said.
Louis’ pub will be seeing some major changes after the renovations are done. Be sure to check it out for yourself during the regular school year.
Tanner Bayne / Culture Editor
Photos: J.C. Balicanta Narag / Photo Editor