Daemen College celebrated the completion of its totally redesigned campus dining and entertainment venue, newly named The Den, at a grand opening held on Sept. 9 in the Wick Campus Center.
The official opening included a ribbon cutting by Daemen President Gary A. Olson; Dr. Greg Nayor, vice president for student affairs; Brandon Michael, president of the Daemen Student Association; and Bryan West, president/owner of Hallmark Management Services, the college’s dining provider.
“This campus space has undergone a remarkable transformation into a modern, spacious dining and entertainment facility located right in the hub of student activity,” said Olson. ““In addition to providing our students, faculty and staff a new place where they can eat, relax and socialize, The Den is a first-class venue equipped with high-quality sound for an array of performances that will be held throughout the academic year.”
The refurbished dining and social space has a modern design with an open and comfortable floor plan. Finished during the summer, the extensive renovation project features all-new furniture and double the number of seats than in the college’s former Cyber Café. Additional seating to accommodate more students is available on the new outdoor terrace that faces the campus area between the Wick Center and Daemen’s historic Rosary Hall.
Other updates include a state-of-the-art entertainment system and a large video wall and several smaller video screens for easy viewing throughout the facility. Multiple plugins for mobile devices are also provided for usage while in the space.
With the opening of The Den, Daemen has also launched DCLIVE, a new weekly entertainment series featuring a lineup of local musicians performing live on Saturdays during the fall and spring semesters.
For dining, The Den has been completely overhauled and will offer traditional grill favorites plus three rotating made-to-order dining options. Special TGIF evening theme events and meals will also be offered on Fridays.
Nayor noted the site’s makeover to create The Den, which will be open daily, was central to improving the college’s dining operations and to best serve the needs of today’s students.
“The Den is the realization of a collaborative effort at Daemen to create a contemporary dining experience in a relaxed social setting that will help enhance campus life and student engagement,” said Nayor. “It is an impressive facility with an inviting atmosphere that will serve faculty, staff and students for many years to come and add to the vibrancy of the campus.”
Student response has been tremendously positive since The Den opened as fall classes were getting underway at Daemen.
“It’s amazing to see all this work come together to create The Den, which is another step in improving student life at Daemen,” said Brandon Michael, a junior in the sports management program. “We are starting off the year with a wonderful new place to eat, hang out with friends, and enjoy some great entertainment.”