The Den: A Lost Late-Night Experience

For underclassmen like myself who have only just discovered what or where the Den is, it might seem like we’ve been missing out on an essential component of the Bates experience. Legend has it that the Den was once a frequented late-night spot that hosted a crowd of mingling students eager to keep the night alive. As a first-year who has never experienced the Den in its true element, the one thing I’ve come to understand is that the approach to campus nightlife has fundamentally altered over the past year. In years prior, the Den functioned as a way of bringing more flavor — both literally and figuratively — to the daily lives of students who sought to break from the monotonous routine that can come from having only one dining hall. These days, the Den is not only characterized by what it offers but rather by what it doesn’t. Since the start of the semester, many students, particularly first-years, have ventured out in search of the Den only to find disappointment instead of the smell of hot mozz sticks that once identified the establishment during its sensational late-night hours. “I also think that having [the Den] would be better in a practical sense — we could virtually have access to quality food at all hours of the day,” said Ryan Audemard ‘25. Nonetheless, students are now left to relive this experience through memories of a different time when the sudden urge for a late-night indulgence with friends didn’t have to mean an off-campus walk to Kim’s. For the first time since its initial opening, the Den will now serve a sample taste of the past as a side dish to the classic Bates Burger that students can order during its new hours of operation: 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.