The confusion that’s surrounded the future of Humber’s LinX Lounge looks as though it will reach a resolution by this fall.
The LinX Lounge, formerly an on-campus bar at Humber’s north campus, is set for a revamp in time for the next school year, with a transition into becoming more of a board games cafe, reminiscent of the popular Snakes and Lattes chain in Toronto.
John Kokkoros, IGNITE Vice-President for the University of Guelph-Humber, said the idea for the space is also partly inspired by The Boardroom, a campus bar at the University of Guelph that was also converted into a board game cafe.
“I had an idea of LinX possibly becoming a cafe, lounge type of space,” similar to the Guelph experience where the campus pub ended up turning into a cafe, he said.
“So I did a lot of looking into the Boardroom to see how they turned it into a cafe.”
IGNITE is also planning to introduce a service offered through the LinX’s new space called Feed It Forward. This program will help provide food to students on campus and decrease unnecessary food waste.
“Feed It Forward is a program that will come in and use food that would have been thrown out or just not used at all, and they’re going to be able to turn that into meals that will be provided to students for free,” Kokkoros said.
He said he’s confident the LinX’s transformation into a cafe and new food program will be ready for the beginning of the 2018-19 school year. Kokkoros also confirmed LinX’s current features, like its billiards table and Smoke’s Poutinerie, would remain intact.
The space will also continue to provide a space for students to hang out and study throughout the day, as it has for the 2017-18 school year, only with more coffee and game selections for students, he said.
LinX had to turn off its taps for the 2017-18 school year, ending its alcohol sales after the lounge’s manager Daniela Trozzolo quit. Without someone to oversee liquor sales, the bar spent the year operating mostly as an alcohol-free hangout for students.
“We made a decision for us to step back, because alcohol is a risk, and not having the right person to serve it is a risk,” said Paul Iskander, Humber College director of Campus Services. “But that also opened up another opportunity, which is what can we do with the space as a space? Do we give it away? Do we look at it as another model to serve stuff? What is the space used for?”
Iskander said alcohol sales also decreased in at least three years before ceasing sales in 2017. He is hopeful the new use for the LinX Lounge space will be a more popular space for students to spend time in.
“It’s just time for us to look at a new business model in that space,” Iskander said. “I see a lot of students using it as their hub.
“They play pool, they chat, they talk,” he said. “There’s still a momentum that students want their own space, and that’s why I wanted to keep it open.”