Those of you who have been around for a while may remember the ‘old’ student café. Smoky, sticky floor and conversation-drowning music. Always a popular hangout for internationals, the Studenterhuset was loved more for its cheap beer than for any kind of style or comfort.
But now, after five months and DKK 3.7 million of renovations, the Studenterhuset might just have more to offer than cheap booze.
The new manager Kristian Skjøth Madsen has turned the whole place upside-down, and wants to put the bar back on the Copenhagen night-life map, starting with the grand opening on Saturday.
Out with the old
And with experience from some of Denmark’s trendiest bars, including Copenhagen’s Library Bar, he seems to know what he is doing. Kristian started by getting rid of all the old student clutter and grime gathered over the years.
»We got rid of everything« he explains to our Danish sister-site, Universitetsavisen. »We have ripped everything out, right down to the concrete floor and bare walls. And then we have made it much better.«
And there was a lot of throwing out to be done. Eight and a half tonnes to be precise. Everything from old canteen machines to a wheelchair and 11 bikes. Students like to hang on to old crap, it seems.
You can’t fire a volunteer
And strange objects are not the only thing that has been axed in the new Studenterhus. Kristian Skjøth Madsen has overturned the long tradition of unpaid student bar staff.
He will have workers who are paid, and along with the money comes greater responsibility. In this way, students can earn some cash on the side, and also be fired if they drink the bar dry, he explains.
This decision in particular has proved to be controversial. When Kristian arrived for an interview one evening when the bar was closed and found volunteers sipping beers and smoking at the bar as though it was their own private speak-easy, he knew that he was in for an uphill struggle.
Bands and breakfast
A revolution was necessary to bring the bar up to date, and to make it work like a real business, rather than a closed club for those ‘in-the-know’.
But Studenterhuset is by no means meant to be a trendy fad, nor a one-man-show. The aim is to make it 'your' place, with everything from great bands, to cheap breakfast and a calm place to study, he explains.