New snacks, popularity for this year at the Lyon’s Den

On weeknights, when the Balfour Hood Café winds down and the Davis Spencer Café has already closed, or on weekends when neither café is open at all, students may feel at a loss when they are looking for a late night snack. Luckily for them, the Lyon’s Den is open for business until at least midnight every day of the week.

Located on Taunton Avenue near the headquarters of Public Safety, the student-run coffee shop offers a wide range of drinks, desserts and snacks. In addition to the array of menu items, the Lyon’s Den offers a laid-back, cozy atmosphere. Occasionally, it hosts events such as dances, open-mic nights and showcases for those who seek entertainment.

Though it may be a bit out of the way for most, students who have yet to visit the Den would be smart to give it a try. Even those who have visited in previous years might benefit from another look, as the Den has recently gone under some changes for the new school year. This year, the Lyon’s Den is managed by Emily Swalec ’14, Stuart Maclean ’15 and Ella Hayslett ’16.

Many members of the Den’s staff have noticed that more students stop by than in previous semesters. Swalec remarked that she had “definitely noticed a surge in the Den’s popularity, especially with an influx of first-year students!” The increase in popularity may partly be due to conscious efforts made by the Den’s management and staff.

Swalec mentioned that the Den has made changes to their menu in order to streamline the business. “Rather than offering a lot of food options, we’ve tried to focus on the most popular food items such as pita, vegan nuggets, cookies, and brownies, and expand on the drink side of things with more flavors and specialty drinks,” she said.

Despite its consolidation, the new menu has ample room for customer experimentation. Seasonal flavor shots like gingerbread, for example, can be added to drinks for change in the usual beverage selections.

Den barista Wilson Sadowski ’16 has also noticed a particular increase in turnout to open-mic events, which are hosted every other Wednesday. Sadowski is working with Maclean to further increase open-mic turnout through social media. “Me and Stu are trying to film one act for every open-mic and put it on YouTube,” Sadowski explained.

Although Swalec said a Den Youtube channel has yet to be established, interested students can turn to the Den’s Facebook page to view previous open-mic performances. The Facebook page is also a convenient place for keeping a look out for other upcoming events.

Maclean has been thinking of having a classic movie night on the Wednesdays in between open-mic nights. He also said that the Den is making an effort to invite more musicians to perform live shows as well. The expansion of the Den’s variety in planning events is aimed towards appealing to more kinds of students.

Along with other staff members, Hayslett remarked, “We are always looking for ways to bring more people in to the Den and let the whole campus community know how great it is”.

“The Den isn’t for one type of person,” Maclean said. “We’re a coffee shop, and who doesn’t miss their local coffee shop?” Luckily for Wheaton students, with the Lyon’s Den just around the corner, no one needs to miss their local coffee shop for too long.