Following Evans’ reopening in the beginning of this term, Carleton students will now experience the reopening of another newly-refurbished part of campus: the Cave, Carleton’s student-run pub that is also the oldest student-run pub in America.
Beneath the Cave’s new paint job lies coats of paint from The Cave’s past history. One of those coats is pink: in that space we now call The Cave, Carleton women would meet and play cards with their dates. The contrasts through the Cave’s history has never been subtle, ranging from the chicken-wire which used to separate the under-aged students from the bar, to the 1967 sex-scandal in the dimly lit Cave that issued in a larger, campus-wide conversations on the topic. During the 1970’s and 80’s, the Cave hung bumpers from the front of cars as wall decorations. More recently, it was decorated with music posters, which were drawn by Carl’s alumni over the past few years covered the old walls and front of the bar.
The remodel has stripped the front plate from the old bar and affixed it to the front of the new bar.
Regarding the remodeled bathrooms, the new Greenroom, a larger stage, and new fire sprinklers, Cave manager Matthew Fitzgerald concedes that there have been a lot of changes. “Of course The Cave will look different and unfortunately it will look a bit manufactured,” he said, “but that’s just an industry standard The Cave never had.”
Students and alums have reminded Mr. Fitzgerald of the material culture The Cave has historically produced and the responsibility to maintain such a space for future generations.
“I’m sure there are currently freshman who are going to form amazing band[s], so we need to realize that things are always changing,” said Fitzgerald.
“Because of that, there’s a responsibility on the students’ part to keep coming out, capturing or recapturing The Cave. I really mean it when I say my goal is to make things run smoothly and run well so there’s room for other students to come in and make the real part of The Cave happen.”
Sunderland also explained that while students used to fight for rehearsal space in the Cave, they now have a new resource: the Goodhue Superlounge.
“Students used to have to try to find jam time when the Cave was open for operation and did not have other entertainment booked,” explained Sunderland.
“At the time, the Cave was one of the only viable option for student bands to rehearse. We wanted to change this long before the Cave renovation but needed funding and appropriate space for such a project.”
She explained that Student Activities was eventually able to meet this need by looking to the Superlounge, creating a space with equipment that is available from 11:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m. daily for students who attended last Thursday’s orientation.
“It is a plug and play room; student musicians never have to worry if equipment is available nor do they have to set-up their drums, amps, microphones, etc.,” she said.
“Students also reserve the room in advance and can view the room availability online. Many bands have reserved time weekly for their band to practice!”
This Friday, the Cave’s reopening celebration will be headlined by Icky Blossoms, with Dreamweapon as the opening band. Doors open at 8:30; the show begins at 9. Students interested in reserving the Cave for future shows should contact Matthew Fitzgerald; faculty/staff interested in reserving the space should contact Nadine Sunderland.